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View Full Version : Are tear gas "grenades" legal in CA?


oni.dori
07-16-2011, 6:31 PM
I did a search of the forum to see if this has been discussed before, but I didn't find anything. So if this is a dupe discussion, please just point me in the direction of the previous discussion.

So, I was wondering if tear gas "grenades" like this:
http://www.keepshooting.com/clear-out-2oz-tear-gas-grenade.html, or just in general, were legal to own/use in CA. They are very similar to "pepper/bear spray", just in a different delivery device, so I though it might be possible and warrented an inquiry.

Librarian
07-16-2011, 7:30 PM
I did a search of the forum to see if this has been discussed before, but I didn't find anything. So if this is a dupe discussion, please just point me in the direction of the previous discussion.

So, I was wondering if tear gas "grenades" like this:
http://www.keepshooting.com/clear-out-2oz-tear-gas-grenade.html, or just in general, were legal to own/use in CA. They are very similar to "pepper/bear spray", just in a different delivery device, so I though it might be possible and warrented an inquiry.
Non-LEO are limited by PC 12403.7 (http://law.onecle.com/california/penal/12403.7.html). I believe the relevant part is (e) (1) No person shall purchase, possess, or use any tear gas
weapon that expels a projectile, or that expels the tear gas by any
method other than an aerosol spray, or that contains more than 2.5
ounces net weight of aerosol spray.

oni.dori
07-16-2011, 9:30 PM
Ok, so I did some reading around and research on those particular "grenades", and apparently, they use aerosol to dispense a cloud to blanket an area with OC/CO gas. So, from what I am understanding by what you responded, I would be limited to possessing the 2 oz. model (I have seen them make up to a 6 oz. model as well), am I correct in my reasoning?

NeoWeird
07-16-2011, 11:15 PM
Ok, so I did some reading around and research on those particular "grenades", and apparently, they use aerosol to dispense a cloud to blanket an area with OC/CO gas. So, from what I am understanding by what you responded, I would be limited to possessing the 2 oz. model (I have seen them make up to a 6 oz. model as well), am I correct in my reasoning?

Just for ****s and giggles I looked into these a while ago and, yes, that was my BASIC understanding without digging too deeply. As far as I could find, they were essentially treated as a generic peper spray with the "spray button" help in the open position to create a peper fogger. As such they fell under the same regulations as peper spray and you'd be limited to the 2 oz variety unless someone makes one bigger but still under our 2.5 oz law.

Again this is MY UNDERSTANDING from basic research and it may be wrong.

I mainly wanted to point out on thing. I originally thought they would be a great SHTF type of item. Buy a case and a couple masks, store it with the rest of my gear, if SHTF happened I could use them for non-lethal escape or to clear out areas I need to pass through. Until I found out they have something like a 18 month shelf life. They seem cool, but utterly pointless in the grand scheme of things.

oni.dori
07-17-2011, 2:48 AM
I mainly wanted to point out on thing. I originally thought they would be a great SHTF type of item. Buy a case and a couple masks, store it with the rest of my gear, if SHTF happened I could use them for non-lethal escape or to clear out areas I need to pass through. Until I found out they have something like a 18 month shelf life. They seem cool, but utterly pointless in the grand scheme of things.

I was actually thinking the exact same thing. Maybe it's one of those things ou will just have to cycle out once in a while. I am also sure that the shelf life means that they just won't be AS effective. Still something to consider IMHO.

Kid Stanislaus
07-17-2011, 7:52 AM
I hate to say it but in case of a serious breakdown of social order this sort of thing is a total waste. You're more likely to just have to open fire when confronted by hostiles. That's an ugly situation that I'm hope'n will never come to pass, I don't relish the idea of having to kill people who are starving just to stay alive.

Quiet
07-17-2011, 11:01 AM
Ok, so I did some reading around and research on those particular "grenades", and apparently, they use aerosol to dispense a cloud to blanket an area with OC/CO gas. So, from what I am understanding by what you responded, I would be limited to possessing the 2 oz. model (I have seen them make up to a 6 oz. model as well), am I correct in my reasoning?

Yes, as long as they are 2.5 oz or less [PC 12403.7(e)(1)] and have the CA DOJ warning label [PC 120403.7(e)(2)], it would be CA legal.



Penal Code 12401
"Tear gas" as used in this chapter shall apply to and include all liquid, gaseous, or solid substances intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispersed in the air, but does not apply to, and shall not include any substance registered as an economic poison as provided in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 12751) of Division 7 of the Agricultural Code provided that such substance is not intended to be used to produce discomfort or injury to human beings.

Penal Code 12402
The term "tear gas weapon" as used in this chapter shall apply to and include:
(a) Any shell, cartridge, or bomb capable of being discharged or exploded, when the discharge or explosion will cause or permit the release or emission of tear gases.
(b) Any revolvers, pistols, fountain pen guns, billies, or other form of device, portable or fixed, intended for the projection or release of tear gas except those regularly manufactured and sold for use with firearm ammunition.

Penal Code 12403.7
Notwithstanding any other law, any person may purchase, possess, or use tear gas and tear gas weapons for the projection or release of tear gas if the tear gas and tear gas weapons are used solely for self-defense purposes, subject to the following requirements:
(a) No person convicted of a felony or any crime involving an assault under the laws of the United States, of the State of California, or any other state, government, or country or convicted of misuse of tear gas under subdivision (g) shall purchase, possess, or use tear gas or tear gas weapons.
(b) No person who is addicted to any narcotic drug shall purchase, possess, or use tear gas or tear gas weapons.
(c) No person shall sell or furnish any tear gas or tear gas weapon to a minor.
(d) No person who is a minor shall purchase, possess, or use tear gas or tear gas weapons.
(e)(1) No person shall purchase, possess, or use any tear gas weapon that expels a projectile, or that expels the tear gas by any method other than an aerosol spray, or that contains more than 2.5 ounces net weight of aerosol spray.
(2) Every tear gas container and tear gas weapon that may be lawfully purchased, possessed, and used pursuant to this section shall have a label that states: "WARNING: The use of this substance or device for any purpose other than self defense is a crime under the law. The contents are dangerous--use with care."
(3) After January 1, 1984, every tear gas container and tear gas weapon that may be lawfully purchased, possessed, and used pursuant to this section shall have a label that discloses the date on which the useful life of the tear gas weapon expires.
(4) Every tear gas container and tear gas weapon that may be lawfully purchased pursuant to this section shall be accompanied at the time of purchase by printed instructions for use.
(f) Effective March 1, 1994, every tear gas container and tear gas weapon that may be lawfully purchased, possessed, and used pursuant to this section shall be accompanied by an insert including directions for use, first aid information, safety and storage information, and explanation of the legal ramifications of improper use of the tear gas container or tear gas product.
(g) Any person who uses tear gas or tear gas weapons except in self-defense is guilty of a public offense and is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years or in a county jail not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment, except that if the use is against a peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, engaged in the performance of his or her official duties and the person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that the victim is a peace officer, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months or two or three years or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

oni.dori
07-17-2011, 4:14 PM
I hate to say it but in case of a serious breakdown of social order this sort of thing is a total waste. You're more likely to just have to open fire when confronted by hostiles. That's an ugly situation that I'm hope'n will never come to pass, I don't relish the idea of having to kill people who are starving just to stay alive.

To me, it would be used more as a means of covering a retreat/excape/egress through (especially tight, like a house or building) spaces, or to distract/disorient small groups of potential agressors/assailants, and possibly even disperse them, enough to escape. It would in no way be an offensive or first line tool, but a compliment to an already laid out tactic/plan and training.

PositiveInfluence
07-17-2011, 4:18 PM
Since I have a Guard Card and proper permits to carry pepper spray at more than 2oz, I would be exempt from the 2oz or less law right?

scarville
07-17-2011, 4:44 PM
When someone says "aerosol" to me I think of fine solid particles or liquid droplets suspended in a gas. A fog, smoke or a mist are common examples. Does this mean a an OC "grenade" that uses combustion products as a propellant to produce the aerosol spray is legal?

oni.dori
07-17-2011, 4:52 PM
One thing I just thought of, how is it that there are all of these companies that produce pepper sprays that are larger than 2.5 oz, and sell them in CA (apparently legally, since I see them in large retail stores); and also, what about "bear spray", isn't it the exact same thing? What is the low-down on that?

Quiet
07-17-2011, 4:59 PM
Since I have a Guard Card and proper permits to carry pepper spray at more than 2oz, I would be exempt from the 2oz or less law right?
AFAIK...
Only when on duty and in uniform.

One thing I just thought of, how is it that there are all of these companies that produce pepper sprays that are larger than 2.5 oz, and sell them in CA (apparently legally, since I see them in large retail stores); and also, what about "bear spray", isn't it the exact same thing? What is the low-down on that?
Certain persons are exempt (such as LEOs) from the 2.5 oz limit.

"bear spray" is technically an economic posion for use aganist animals and not human beings.
Technically, using "bear spray" on a person could be consider assault with a deadly weapon or mayhem (if it causes permanent eye damage), since you are using a type of posion aganist a human being.
But, LEO/DA discreation (spirit of the law v letter of the law) plays apart when it is used in self defense aganist a human being. All the depends on the situation and individuals involved.

oni.dori
07-17-2011, 5:19 PM
I have heard that "bear spray" was "industrial" pepper spray that has the same contents as "defensive" pepper spray, just on a more potent level. On top of that, I have seen defense sprays, such as the Cold Steel Inferno, on sale in CA that were larger than 2.5 oz. Although, they are more of a gel/foam than a "spray". Maybe that is how they get around the law.