Is Pepper Spray Legal In Chicago, Illinois?

(Editor’s note: The information below has been updated, and can be found here)

Kind of quiet today as it concerns local material for Survival And Prosperity.

Good.

That let’s me get away from commenting on the news a bit to focus on other topics.

Here’s one I’ve been wanting to blog about for a while now:

Is pepper spray legal in Chicago, Illinois?

You see, for some reason or another, people keep posting on various Internet sites that pepper spray- or Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray as law enforcement/corrections commonly call it- is illegal in the city of Chicago.

Case in point, from Yahoo! Answers:

I live in Chicago and pepper spray and tasers are both illegal in Illinois.

Then there’s this on Yelp:

FYI: Pepper Spray is illegal in the City of Chicago.

Even on websites where one might think an informed answer can be found on this issue is it being unintentionally disseminated that pepper spray is illegal. From INGunOwners.com:

I coulda sworn there’s a recent law that banned the use of tasers and pepper sprays in Chicago.

Referring back to an August 16, 2013, post I wrote about Chicago-area laws concerning self-defense tools, here’s what the Municipal Code of Chicago has to say about the matter. From Title 8, Chapter 24, “FIREARMS AND OTHER WEAPONS”:

8-24-045 Noxious gas or liquid.

(a) No person shall use any device to discharge a noxious gas or liquid in an enclosed room in any Class C-1 or Class C-2 Assembly Unit, as defined in Chapter 13-56 of this Code, or in an enclosed room in any restaurant, bar or tavern that is a Class F Assembly Unit as defined in that chapter, if more than 20 persons are present in that room, unless the person is a peace officer, as defined in Section 8-20-010 of this Code, engaged in law enforcement activity. As used in this section, “noxious gas or liquid” means mace, pepper spray or any other substance that is intended or designed to cause irritation to the eyes, nose or mouth, or to cause nausea.
(b) Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine $500.00, or 30 days imprisonment, or both, for each offense.

(Added Coun. J. 4-9-03, p. 106979, § 1; Amend Coun. J. 11-8-12, p. 38872, § 159)

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

And then there’s this, which was added on September 11, 2013, by the City of Chicago when it passed Substitute Ordinance SO2013-6015. 8-24-20 was amended with:

5. No person shall carry on or about his person or in any vehicle, a tear gas gun projector or bomb or any object containing noxious liquid gas or substance, other than an object containing a non-lethal noxious liquid gas or substance designed solely for personal defense carried by a person 18 years of age or older; provided that this subsection shall not apply to any person listed in section 5/24-2(a)(1H14) of the Criminal Code. 720 ILCS 5/24-2(a).

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

Back on November 27, 2011, the Chicago Tribune even ran a piece on pepper spray. Dawn Rhodes pointed out:

Major retailers such as Ace Hardware and Sears sell pepper spray products (commonly known by brand names such as Mace), as do a number of online-only stores. But pepper spray regulations vary. In Chicago, for instance, a person can be charged with a misdemeanor for spraying it in an enclosed space, such as a bar or restaurant, if there are more than 20 people present.

So is pepper (OC) spray legal in Chicago? From what the material above says, I would think it is, as long as the spray is used in self-defense and in compliance with what’s stated in the Municipal Code of Chicago, and not in a threatening manner.

(Legal disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain such advice.)

By Christopher E. Hill, Editor
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

Source:

Rhodes, Dawn. “Pepper spray a hot topic of late.” Chicago Tribune. 27 Nov. 2011. (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-27/news/ct-talk-pepper-spray-1127-20111127_1_pepper-spray-hot-peppers-uc-davis-campus-police). 30 Oct. 2013.

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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 Government, Legal, Self-Defense

7 Comments to Is Pepper Spray Legal In Chicago, Illinois?

  1. We have a full list of pepper spray laws by state you may find useful. Check it out http://bestpeppersprayonline.com/pepper-spray-laws/

  2. Andrew on March 10th, 2016
  3. Thanks for sharing that list Andrew

  4. Editor on March 17th, 2016
  5. Happy to help!

    PS – Love the blog, keep up the great work!!!

    Cheers

  6. Andrew on April 3rd, 2016
  7. Andrew’s link says pepper spray is illegal in Chicago.

  8. Eric on April 18th, 2016
  9. Thanks for pointing that out Eric. I will pass that along to Andrew. As opinions differ on the legality of pepper spray in Chicago, he may or may not change that. That being said, I spotted the following on legal website Avvo.com this afternoon:

    “Is it illegal for an adult to possess and use pepper spray in the city of Chicago solely for self-defense?”

    Interesting. Ultimately, those serious about getting to the bottom of this matter may want to consult with an attorney.

  10. Editor on April 19th, 2016
  11. I have updated the site to show the restrictions of using pepper spray indoors in Chicago. Thanks for the catch, always looking to add/edit the information I provide to best represent what is true.

    I live in Chicago and it will really boil down to how/why you are using the spray and if it was in self-defense or used as a weapon with the intent of hurting another individual.

    And per the lawyer on avvo.com Do not use pepper spray in a bar in Chicago!

  12. Andrew on September 7th, 2016
  13. Thanks for the comment Andrew

  14. Editor on October 29th, 2016
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