MPD: No You May Not Use Wasp Spray for Self Defense

by Prince Of Petworth December 2, 2010 at 11:30 am 1,030 39 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user K’s Clicks

On the heels of yesterday’s discussion about the recent violence around the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave, SE a resident asked MPD:

“I’ve heard it is better than pepper spray because it shoots a greater distance (20-30)feet. Also heard both yes and no regarding legality. And just what IS legal in DC? Mace? Pepper Spray? Would be a horrible thing to be arrested due to using a spray while warding an attacker.”

MPD quickly responded:

“An item like wasp spray- although legal to address bees, is not legal to possess with the intent to use unlawfully. Another example would be a carpet knife- has legitimate uses, but if being carried around for illegal purposes then the possession would be illegal.”

Brings up an interesting question – what are the legal means for self defense when walking the streets? As the original question asked – would you really be arrested for using wasp spray to ward off an attack?


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