European Law's Pepper Spray:
In which countries can I carry, own and use?
Austria: Pepper spray is classified as a self-defense device.Pepper sprays may be owned and carried by adults without registration or permission.
Justified use against humans as self-defense is allowed.
Police also encourage vulnerable groups like pensioners and women to carry pepper spray.
Belgium: Pepper spray is classified as a prohibited weapon.
Possession is illegal for anyone other than police officers, police agents (assistant police officers), security officers of public transport companies and customs officers to carry a capsicum spray. is also authorised after obtaining permission from the Minister of Internal Affairs.
Czech Republic: Possession is legal.
Denmark: Possession is illegal for private citizens. As of 2008, police officers began to carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment.Police also encourage vulnerable groups like pensioners and women to carry pepper spray.
Carrying during demonstrations and into court buildings is illegal.
France: It is legal for anyone over the age of 18 to buy a pepper spray in an armoury or military surplus store. It is classified as a Category 6 Weapon in French law and if the aerosol contains more than 100ml, it is classed as an offensive weapon; possession in a public place can be punished by confiscation and a fine.
However, if it contains less than 100ml, while still a Category 6 Weapon, it is not classed as a punishable offence for the purposes of the Weapons law, so if you are controlled, it will be confiscated with maybe a verbal warning given.
Finland: Possession of pepper spray requires a license.
Licenses are issued for defensive purposes and to individuals working jobs where such a device is needed such as the private security sector.
However, the Finnish Supreme Court has recently ruled in KKO:2010:7 that owning a pepper spray is in itself not a punishable act; but, on the other hand, carrying one can be punished as a device capable of harming other people.
Germany: Pepper sprays labeled for the purpose of defense against animals may be owned and carried by anyone (even minors). Such sprays are not legally considered as weapons §1. Carrying it at (or on the way to and from) demonstrations may still be punished.
Greece: Such items are Illegal. They will be confiscated and possession may result in detention and arrest.
Sprays that are not labelled "animal-defence spray" or do not bear the test mark of the Materialprüfungsanstalt (MPA, material testing institute) are classified as prohibited weapons.
Justified use against humans as self-defense is allowed.
CS sprays bearing a test mark of the MPA may be owned and carried by anyone over the age of 14.
Hungary: Such items are reserved for law enforcement (including civilian members of the auxiliary police).
Civilians may carry canisters filled with maximum 20 grams of any other lachrymatory agent.
However, there is no restriction for pepper gas pistol cartridges.
Iceland: Possession of pepper spray is illegal for private citizens.
Ireland: Possession of this spray by persons other the Garda Síochána (national police) is an offence under the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act.Police officers carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment.
Members of the riot police use larger pepper-spray canisters than what is used by a normal police officer.
Italy: Any citizen over 16 years of age without a criminal record could possess, carry and purchase any OC-based compounds and personal defence devices that respond to the following criteria:
Containing a payload not exceeding 20 ml., with a percentage of Oleoresin Capsicum not exceeding 10% and a maximum concentration of capsaicin and capsaicinoid substances not exceeding 2,5%;
Containing no flammable, corrosive, toxic or carcinogenic substances, and no other aggressive chemical compound than OC itself;
Being sealed when sold and featuring a safety device against accidental discharge;
Featuring a range not exceeding 3 metres.
Latvia: Pepper spray is classified as a self-defense device.It can be bought and carried by anyone over 16 years of age.
Pepper spray handguns can be bought and carried without any license by anyone over 18.
Malta: It is illegal for use by the general public
There have been cases where the police force has been provided with it.
The Netherlands: It is Illegal for civilians to own and carry pepper spray.
Only police officers trained in the specific use of pepper spray are allowed to carry and use it against civilians and animals.
Norway: It is illegal for civilians.
Police officers are allowed to carry pepper spray as part of their standard equipment.
Poland: Called precisely in Polish Penal Code "a hand-held disabling gas thrower", sprays are considered a weapon.
They can be carried by anyone over 18 without further registration or permission.
Portugal: Civilians who do not have criminal records are allowed to get police permits to purchase from gun shops, carry, and use OC sprays with a maximum concentration of 5%.
Romania: Pepper spray is banned at sportive and cultural events, public transportation and entertainment locations (according to Penal Code 2012, art 372, (1), c).
CS is considered a weapon and is not permitted.
Police carry OC sprays of higher concentration.
Russia: It is classified as a self-defense weapon and can be carried by anyone over 18.
Serbia: Pepper spray is legal under the new law as of 2016 and can be carried by anyone over the age of 16. Use against humans in self-defence is legal.
Usage against humans is legal.
OC is not the only legal agent used. CS, CR, PAM (МПК), and (rarely) CN are also legal and highly popular.
Slovakia: It is classified as a self-defense weapon.
It is available to anyone over 18.
Use against humans is officially prohibited.
Switzerland: It is classified as a self-defense device (not a weapon) and can be carried by anyone after a registration as a user of such sprays.
Use against humans is legal.
Spain: Approved pepper spray made with 5% CS is available to anyone older than 18 years.
OC pepper spray, recently adopted for some civilian use (e.g., one of 22 grams, with no registration DGSP-07-22-SDP, is approved by the Ministry of Health and Consumption).
Sweden: Pepper spray falls under firearm laws.
It may be carried only by police officers, prison officers, some security officers, and soldiers actively serving in the armed forces.
Turkey: It is illegal for civilians.
United Kingdom: Pepper spray is illegal under Section 5(1)(b) of the Firearms Act 1968: "A person commits an offence if [...] he has in his possession [...] any weapon of whatever description designed or adapted for the discharge of any noxious liquid, gas or other thing."
Police forces usually use it.