Can You Bring Pepper Spray on a Plane? The Rules!

Can you take pepper spray on a plane? Let's find out!

Have you ever wondered, “Can you bring pepper spray with you on a plane?” You’re not alone. It’s one of the top questions travelers ask, and we’ve put together this post to help shed some light on the matter.

What Is Pepper Spray and What Does It Do?

Pepper spray is a non-lethal agent that affects the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.

When you’re sprayed with it, your vision blurs, your nose starts to run, and your skin stings. Pepper spray can also cause a burning sensation in the eyes and throat when sprayed at someone, so it’s essential to know how to use it in self-defense.

Pepper spray is made up of cayenne pepper, oleoresin capsicum (OC), and other ingredients that cause a burning sensation. Oleoresin capsicum is a derivative of chili peppers, and it’s the ingredient that makes pepper spray so effective in self-defense.

How Does Pepper Spray Work?

Pepper spray works by attacking the eyes and respiratory system. It causes temporary blindness and causes your mucous membranes to swell up when it reaches your eyes, nose, and throat.

When that happens, it’s difficult to see, breathe and speak. That’s why pepper spray is such an effective self-defense tool; it can incapacitate an attacker and give you time to run or escape.

How to Use Pepper Spray in Self-Defense?

If you’re in a situation where you need to use pepper spray in self-defense, you should always keep it in your hand when walking to your car or going for a jog.

It’s also important to know how to use pepper spray if you’re jumped from behind or pushed from the front. In both cases, the best way to defend yourself is to spray your attacker as soon as you recognize they are a threat seeking to do you harm.

The best thing to do is aim at the attacker’s face and spray. Holding down the button will release a continuous stream of pepper spray for as long as you’re holding it.

3 Tips for Using Pepper Spray in Emergencies

Stay downwind when deploying your pepper spray, especially the foggers1. You should be aware of your surroundings and the people within them. Noticing an attacker and avoiding the situation is much better than having to use your pepper spray.

2. Pay attention to the air currents. Pepper spray can incapacitate you just as quickly as it can incapacitate your attacker. Whenever possible, be mindful of any breezes when using your self defense sprays.

3. While the effects of pepper spray are temporary for most people, they can be long-lasting for those who have asthma or similar conditions. Therefore, if you have asthma, make sure to carry your medication whenever you bring your pepper spray.

Can You Bring Pepper Spray on a Plane?

The rules for bringing pepper spray on a plane will vary depending on the airline you’re flying with.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) both set and enforce the federal guidelines regarding carrying pepper spray on planes. In 2017, the TSA made a few changes to its rules regarding air travel and pepper spray.

The TSA Regulation Regarding Pepper Spray States:

“One 4 fl. oz. (118 ml) container of mace or pepper spray is permitted in checked baggage provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge. Self-defense sprays containing more than 2 percent by mass of tear gas (CS or CN) are prohibited in checked baggage.” (Source)

While the TSA allows pepper spray to be carried in your checked bags, each airline has its own pepper spray policy. Many airlines do not allow you to carry pepper spray in checked luggage.

So, check with your airline before you fly and know before you go.

How to Pack Pepper Spray in Your Checked Bag

While pepper spray is an effective self-defense tool, you need to pack it correctly before traveling with it. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1 – Check the Laws

Check the laws in your state or country regarding the possession and carrying of pepper spray. There may be restrictions on how much you can bring with you or which types of pepper spray are legal.

Step 2 – Secure the Safety Mechanism

Make sure your pepper spray’s safety mechanism is in position and secure. Safety mechanisms include clips, a reinforced trigger twist lock, and other devices. Be familiar with the safety feature of your pepper sprays.

Step 3 – Cap It

If your pepper spray has a cap, make sure it is tightly sealed when preparing to place in your checked baggage.

Step 4 – Seal It in a Plastic Bag

Put the pepper spray in a sealable plastic baggie for protection from accidental discharge. Consider double bagging it for added security. After all, if your defense spray discharges in your checked baggage, it will be your clothes that are damaged.

Step 2 – Checked Bags Only

With your pepper spray safe and sealed, make sure your pepper spray is packed in your checked bag rather than your carry-on bag. Most airlines prohibit the carriage of aerosol cans in carry-on bags.

Tips for Using Pepper Spray in Self-Defense

When it comes to using pepper spray and other self defense sprays, there are some things you should consider before using pepper spray as a self defense weapon.

1. Be Familiar With How Your Pepper Spray Operates

You cannot be effective with your pepper spray if you do not fully understand how it works. This is why it’s essential to become familiar with your pepper spray before using it against an attacker.

Familiarize yourself with the safety mechanism and understand how to properly carry and deploy the pepper spray, as well as what types of sprays are available to you.

You should also understand the spray patterns of your pepper spray. Some sprays make a stream, while others spray in a fog pattern. You should know what type of spray pattern your pepper spray uses and how it will affect the range of the spray.

Make sure you know how to use your pepper spray before carrying it with you2. Know How to Hold and Trigger Your Pepper Spray Properly

When deploying your pepper spray, you need to ensure that you have a firm grip on the canister and know how far away from your attacker’s face it needs to be when in use.

Due to the close proximity in which pepper spray is used, you need to keep it and yourself as far away from the attacker as possible.

Also, ensure you protect your pepper spray from the attacker who may try to grab it and possibly use it to disable you. Stay alert, stay alive!


3. Understand the Effects of Pepper Spray

Because pepper spray is disabling, you need to know how the effects work.

That’s because when you deploy your pepper spray, you may find yourself suffering the effects of the spray.

By understanding how the spray feels, you will be better prepared should you find yourself in contact with the spray

4. Avoid Confrontation Whenever Possible

The best road to personal safety is never to travel the road to conflict.

“The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.”

~Sun Tzu

In other words, whenever possible, avoid entering into a situation that may require your to defend yourself.

By being situationally aware, you increase your opportunities to avoid conflict and danger.

5. Get Training

Before using your pepper spray, you should seek out and attend a certified training course. An excellent place to start your pepper spray training search is with your local law enforcement agency, which often holds courses for the public.

Training with pepper spray is crucial because it will help you understand how to use it effectively in self-defense. You will also learn about the effects of pepper spray and how to avoid confrontation.

Where to Buy Pepper Spray

You’ve probably seen pepper spray on TV or in movies. It’s a common self-defense tool for women to protect themselves against attackers. But where can you get it?

Defensive spray, such as pepper spray, bear spray, tear gas, and other self defense sprays, can be found wherever they are legal to own.

Likewise, online retailers such as Amazon, firearms retailers, and others have several types available to ship to your location, providing it’s legal to do so.

Top Three Pepper Sprays Available on Amazon:

Are you ready to order your pepper spray? Here are the top three pepper sprays available on Amazon.

1. SABRE Pepper Spray Keychain

SABRE Advanced Pepper Spray Keychain with Quick Release

2. Mace Brand Pocket Pepper Spray (Hot Pink)

Mace Brand Personal Pepper Spray

3. SABRE Red Home Defense Pepper Gel With Wall Mount

SABRE Red Home Defense Pepper Gel With Wall Mount

The Bottom Line on Can You Bring Pepper Spray With You on a Plane

It is not illegal to bring pepper spray on a plane, but there are some rules you need to be aware of before bringing it with you.

You can bring defensive sprays in your checked luggage as long as it meets the TSA guidelines for traveling by air. NEVER bring pepper spray or any defensive spray in your carry-on baggage as TSA rules forbid it.

However, before you pack it, make sure to check the individual airlines.

The final answer to the question of “Can you bring pepper spray on a plane?” is to know the rules!

What are your thoughts on pepper spray? Tell us in the comments below.


Stay safe,

This is Brian Duff's signautre

Can You Bring Pepper Spray on a Plane? The Rules!

Don't Miss Out!

Join the thousands of people who rely on Mind4Survival preparedness advice by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

  • Practical preparedness information
  • Zero Spam
  • < 0.25% of people unsubscribe
Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Brian Duff

Brian's preparedness career began at sixteen and included professional roles as a lifeguard, firefighter, paramedic, Special Operations team leader with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, Diplomatic Protection Specialist, and international security director. He's managed medical clinics in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, provided high-threat diplomatic protection in Iraq and Pakistan, advised a rebel army in Africa, oversaw U.S. embassy security in Baghdad, and directed a premiere tactical medicine training facility. Brian is an expert in Security, Crisis Management, and Preparedness Mindset and hosts the Mind4Survival podcast. He holds a bachelor's degree in Security Management and an MBA in Information Technology Management.

Free Download with Brain Header
Start Prepping Header
SHTF Prepping Header
Gear Reviews Header

Join Mind4Survival!

Stay informed by joining the Mind4Survival! 100% Secure! 0% Spam!

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Follow Us!

Affiliate Disclosure

Mind4Survival is a free, reader-supported information resource. If you make a purchase through our link, we may, at no cost to you, receive an affiliate commission.

Leave a Comment