Pepper spray and also mace are few of the most common self-defense item travelers lug with them. But bringing these points on a plane can it is in problematic especially if you room unaware that the TSA/FAA rules and also the plans for every airline.

Below, ns will explain everything you should know around safely (and legally) pass pepper spray and also mace with airport security and also onto a plane.

Can you bring pepper spray ~ above a plane?

On some airlines, you can lug one 4 fl. Oz. (118 ml) container in your checked baggage so lengthy as it is equipped v a safety system to avoid accidental discharge and is not much more than 2 percent by fixed of tear gas (CS or CN). You space not allowed to carry pepper spray as a carry-on item on the aircraft with any type of airline.

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One 4 fluid ounce container

Your container should be no bigger than 4 fluid ounces or 118 ml (which is various from the liquids rule). This is the form of dimension that numerous keep in their purse and that you might find top top keychains but remember come NOT placed pepper spray in her purse once going v security.

Keep in psychic this size necessity is focused on the size the the container and no the lot of fluid inside. Therefore if you had an 8 ounce container the you think was 40% full (under 4 ounces of “fluid” inside), that would certainly not it is in compliant through TSA rules.

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If you shop around on Amazon you have the right to easily find pepper spray containers that space four fluid ounces or smaller.

One point to consider around this border is the it will likely reduce two major factors that human being look at once purchasing pepper spray: bursts and also range.

This way that you will not be able to shoot as countless bursts in ~ a potential offender and that you may not have actually as lengthy of range. For this reason if those two points are an extremely important to you then you can even take into consideration picking up part pepper spray at your destination if the is practical.

Safety mechanism

You should make sure that the pepper spray has actually a safety mechanism so the there is no accidental discharge.

You might imagine how negative that situation could obtain for one unsuspecting TSA agent browsing through your luggage. Details brands virtually constantly come with safety and security mechanisms so if you select the appropriate brand this need to not be lot of an issue.

The FAA renders clear and also the law states “a recessed switch can’t be the only safety feature; there should be an addition machine such as a cap that flips up.” So to ensure the your pepper spray is enabled on the plane, make certain that there is some form of covering or lid to the trigger.

Just look because that keywords in the summary like “safety switch” and also you should be good.

You may likewise consider buying a case or sheath for her container. That most likely will no substitute for a security mechanism but it could include a class of protection versus accidental discharge.

2% tear gas

A large limitation to pay attention to is the border that requires the spray to not be more than 2% by fixed of teargas. If her mace or pepper spray over this then you cannot even lug it in confirm luggage.

TSA and also the FAA clearly state that this 2% limitation uses to CS or CN. However, they execute not make any type of mention that Oleoresin capsicum (OC).

Any great manufacturer of mace or pepper spray should have actually the percentage detailed on the label and also it is just a issue of friend inspecting the to view what the percentage is.

Here is an example of what that could look like:


Why is pepper spray minimal on planes?

Pepper spray and also mace are supplied both as an offensive and self-defense weapon. These could easily be provided by terrorists to damaged or subdue crew members or passengers. In fact, mace was used by hi-jackers in 9/11.

In some instances TSA agents have actually not found pepper spray in a carry-on and also it has been by chance deployed in the aircraft cabin, such as on United trip 1061 to Newark, NJ. In that instance it led to breathing issues and a the majority of coughing for passengers the was not welcomed, especially in the era that covid.

So it’s no surprised that defense sprays would not be permitted in the aircraft cabin.

There might be an issue with the flammability as well. Pepper spray by itself is not flammable. However, when used in aerosol type it can come to be highly flammable due to the aerosol propellants.

Related: TSA approved Gun case & Ammunition Guide

Mace versus pepper spray

There are different chemicals used in self-defense spray containers and because TSA restricts certain types, you have to be aware of the differences.

Here are three popular species of substances girlfriend will likely encounter in pepper spray and mace containers:

2-Chloroacetophenone (CN),o-chlorobenzylidene malonitrile (CS)oleoresin capsicum (OC)

Pepper spray and also mace are comparable but no the very same thing. Pepper spray is known for being a more intense inflammatory agent and is frequently used come subdue human being who could be an ext resistant to mace, such as those under the affect of drugs or alcohol.

Pepper spray will typically rely top top oleoresin capsicum (OC). Mace is more likely to utilize 2-Chloroacetophenone (CN), i beg your pardon is the ingredient well-known to be the most toxic out of the three. Some containers might contain a mix of this substances because that extra potency so it is in on the lookout for that.

TSA is clear the both pepper spray and mace are enabled so long as friend comply v the above restrictions. And also as you can tell through the constraints above, you space not enabled to bring pepper spray containing the CN or CS above 2%.

Tip: Always examine your expiration date because pepper spray will certainly expire after a couple of years so make sure that you constantly check the expiration date prior to traveling.

Is pepper spray legit in every state?

Before you decide to head v airport security and arrive in an additional state you might be curious regarding whether or no pepper spray is actually legal to own in that state.

The great news is that usually every state appears to make pepper spray legitimate or castle simply have actually no laws versus it. States execute have certain restrictions pertained to pepper spray use, though.

Some that these are pretty common sense such as avoiding you from making use of it in a criminal manner. But there are some other limitations when it involves bringing it to college or shipping the in the mail. Over there may also be specific size and/or age limitations as well.

So be sure to inspect on the pepper spray legislations for your state.

Airline policies on pepper spray

If you evaluation the policies of significant airlines prefer United, American, Delta, Southwest, etc., periodically you might receive conflict information about pepper spray. For example, they might tell you that they carry out not allow pepper spray in confirm baggage or together a carry-on — something that straight contradicts TSA.

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A many times if you monitor up with guidance from TSA the airline will backtrack and also state the pepper spray is allowed. However it is feasible that you can encounter one airline agent that is adamant that pepper spray is not permitted and sometimes they are also backed up by your terms and conditions.

For the reason, it may be a good idea to have actually the webpage from TSA on hand (either on her phone or published out) so the you can present this come an agent.

Here is a look at few of the major airlines that seemingly outlaw pepper spray also in confirm bags.


Note: dynamite (e.g., Pyrodex, black color powder, mace, pepper spray and also tear gas) is never permitted.” Link


“Federal regulation prohibits hazardous products from being contained in either checked or carry-on baggage. Items such together explosives, compressed gases, oxidizers, corrosives, flammable liquids and also solids, loaded firearms, radioactive materials and also poisons are thought about hazardous. Some typical examples of prohibition items incorporate paints, mace/tear gas, lighter fluid, oxygen bottles and also fireworks.” Link

Southwest Airlines

“Southwest Airlines at this time prohibits self-defense sprays on any kind of flight regardless if that is confirm or lugged on.” Link

Meanwhile some various other airlines are specific that the items are not permitted onboard versus just in confirm baggage.

United airline

Dangerous items us don’t permit on board <…> Defense sprays favor mace, pepper sprays and also tear gas.” Link

Some airlines choose American Airlines space vague and also simply say the they space not allowed for travel.