Less Lethal (2023)


​You may carry pepper spray that does not exceed 2.5 ounces in capacity.
You may carry a Taser.
You may carry either openly or concealed.
Irritant powder shotgun shells are prohibited, but baton/bean bag shells are not.

Less lethal weapons, generally
A less lethal weapon (defined by 16780) cannot be sold to anyone under 18 (19405), except a stun gun may be purchased by some 16 or older with written parental permission.

Pepper Spray
The definition of tear gas includes pepper spray (oleoresin capsicum): “any liquid, gaseous or solid substance intended to produce temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being vaporized or otherwise dispersed in the air” (17240). A pepper spray canister is a “tear gas weapon” it projects or discharges” the irritant substance (17250).

Anyone, except addicts and felons, can possess a stun gun, except those 16-18 must have written parental permission (22810).

A minor 16 and up may purchases and possess pepper spray with written permission from their parent (22815).

No projectiles, 2.5oz max size
You may not 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 (22810(e)(1)).

Tasers and stun guns
17230. As used in this part, “stun gun” means any item, except a less lethal weapon, used or intended to be used as either an offensive or defensive weapon that is capable of temporarily immobilizing a person by the infliction of an electrical charge.

Anyone, except addicts and felons, can possess a stun gun, except those 16-18 must have written parental permission (22610).

Tasers or stun guns may be carried concealed as 25400 only applies to concealed firearms. However, the profile of several Taser models are similar to that of a handgun’s silhouette and one should be aware that someone could easily mistake the imprint of a Taser as concealed firearm.

Less lethal ammunition
22810(e)(1) prohibits tear gas (this includes pepper spray or any irritant) projectiles, which would cover firearm cartridges. “Pepper blast” shotgun shells would fall under the definition of “tear gas” (17240) as the hot pepper powder is intended as an irritant.

Shotgun baton or bean bag rounds would be legal, however, since they would be fired out of a firearm, which is lethal force, these less lethal rounds could not be used unless lethal force was justified. The question then becomes one of choosing to employ less lethal force when killing is justified. That may cause prosecutors and jurors to ask whether or not lethal force was actually justified, if the force you used was reasonable, or even if any force were necessary as all.

Less lethal cartridges are just that; less lethal. Rubber bullets and bean bags can kill.

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