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

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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