New York Law on Pepper Sprays

Read the full text of the New York State Penal Law
Exemption of Weapons Law §265.
Sale of “self-defense spray device”

In brief:
* No sale to minors under 18.
* No sale to anyone with felony convictions or assaults.
* Sale only through an authorized dealer, pharmacy or gun dealer.
* Sale after you complete a form with your name, address, birth date and signature.

New York State Penal Law
Exemption of Weapons Law §265.
Sale of “self-defense spray device”

Section §265.20

14. Possession in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph of a self-defense spray device as defined herein for the protection of a person or property and use of such self-defense spray device under circumstances which would justify the use of physical force pursuant to article thirty-five of this chapter.
(a) As used in this section “self-defense spray device” shall mean a pocket sized spray device which contains and releases a chemical or organic substance which is intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or disability through being vaporized or otherwise dispensed in the air or any like device containing pepper or similar disabling agent.
(b) The exemption under this paragraph shall not apply to a person who:
(i) is less than eighteen years of age; or
(ii) has been previously convicted in this state of a felony or any assault; or
(iii) has been convicted of a crime outside the state of New York which if committed in New York would constitute a felony or any assault crime.
(c) The department of health, with the cooperation of the division of criminal justice services and the superintendent of state police, shall develop standards and promulgate regulations regarding the type of self- defense spray device which may lawfully be purchased, possessed and used pursuant to this paragraph. The regulations shall include a requirement that every self-defense spray device which may be lawfully purchased, possessed or used pursuant to this paragraph have a label which states:

“WARNING: The use of this substance or device for any purpose other than self-defense is a criminal offense under the law. The contents are dangerous – use with care. This device shall not be sold by anyone other than a licensed or authorized dealer. Possession of this device by any person under the age of eighteen or by anyone who has been convicted of a felony or assault is illegal.”

15. Possession and sale of a self-defense spray device as defined in paragraph fourteen of this subdivision by a dealer in firearms licensed pursuant to section 400.00 of this chapter, a pharmacist licensed pursuant to article one hundred thirty-seven of the education law or by such other vendor as may be authorized and approved by the superintendent of state police.
(a) Every self-defense spray device shall be accompanied by an insert or inserts which include directions for use, first aid information, safety and storage information and which shall also contain a toll free telephone number for the purpose of allowing any purchaser to call and receive additional information regarding the availability of local courses in self-defense training and safety in the use of a self-defense spray device.
(b) Before delivering a self-defense spray device to any person, the licensed or authorized dealer shall require proof of age and a sworn statement on a form approved by the superintendent of state police that such person has not been convicted of a felony or any crime involving an assault. Such forms shall be forwarded to the division of state police at such intervals as directed by the superintendent of state police. Absent any such direction the forms shall be maintained on the premises of the vendor and shall be open at all reasonable hours for inspection by any peace officer or police officer, acting pursuant to his or her special duties. No more than two self-defense spray devices may be sold at any one time to a single purchaser.