Traveling can be dangerous, especially in places you are not familiar with the surroundings. So naturally, we want to feel safe and protect ourselves. No wonder the question, can you travel with pepper spray keeps popping up everywhere.
Pepper spray is a weapon when used against another, even if it is for our safety. And if we think about it in terms of a weapon that a criminal may use, it presents a whole new light. Let’s dive into this question to find an answer.
A Bit Of History on Mace and Can You Travel With Pepper Spray
Pepper spray has been around for decades, and while it’s not the most effective weapon in the world, it does have its uses. It’s also one of those things that people are afraid of because they don’t understand how it works. Let’s clear up some misconceptions about pepper spray so you better understand why you can or cannot fly with it.
First, Mace is a brand name of pepper spray and not a different form.
Pepper spray was originally invented to use as a bear spray if you encounter one in the wild. From there, it was used in riots, then by the police, and later sold as a self-defense mechanism.
What Is Pepper Spray?
A pepper spray product is an aerosolized chemical compound that irritates your eyes and respiratory system. Capsaicin is the main ingredient in pepper spray, found in chili peppers, and will cause pain when sprayed in the eyes. It does so by blocking certain chemicals in the body called TRPV1 receptors. These receptors are located throughout our bodies, including our skin, lungs, heart, digestive tract, brain, and nervous system. When these receptors are blocked, we experience pain.
The amount of capsaicin in pepper spray varies from brand to brand, but generally speaking, it contains between 0.18% and 3% capsaicin. But the amount of active ingredients in Mace is not closely regulated.
The effects of capsaicin wear off fairly quickly, usually within 30 minutes or less. However, there are ways to prolong the effects of pepper spray. For example, you could rub the affected area with ice, which will numb the area. Or you could apply a topical cream containing capsaicin.
There are many different types of pepper sprays available today. Some contain only capsaicin; others may include other ingredients such as alcohol, menthol, eucalyptus oil, or camphor. And yet again, some pepper sprays have tear gas in them.
What Does TSA Say About Can You Travel With Pepper Spay?
TSA (Transporation Security Administration) develops guidelines for what a person can and cannot take on a plane. When it comes to, can you travel with pepper spray, they say you can take 4 fluid-ounce containers, equal to 118 milliliters container of pepper spray, in your checked luggage. It must have a preventative safety cover so there is no accidental discharge of the contents during the flight.
Another stipulation in the guideline states if your container of Mace has more than 2% of CN or CS tear gas, you cannot take it in checked or carry on luggage.
What Does The FAA Say About Can I Travel With Pepper Spay?
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) says basically the same thing that TSA says, except it states that the aerosol container must meet the regulations for 49 CFR 171.8. The pepper spray rules regulate what a self-defense spray is and if it is a hazardous material.
Will All Airlines Allow Pepper Spray On A Flight?
Even though TSA and FAA say you can bring pepper spray onto a plane in checked luggage, individual airlines have their own rules. Many airlines do not allow Mace onto an aircraft in checked baggage or carry on bags.
Can you travel with pepper spray, is different for each airline? Some of the more popular airlines that allow pepper spray are Hawaiian Airlines, while American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines do not allow pepper spray on a plane in your checked or carry on bags.
The best way to know is to talk to the airline you travel on and learn their rules.
Can You Travel With Pepper Spray To All Foreign Countries?
Is pepper spray legal in all foreign countries? No, it is illegal in some and has restrictions in others. For your convenience and to help answer, can you travel with pepper spray, I have compiled a list of countries per category, illegal, legal, and restrictions in the image below. If one of the countries you travel to has restrictions, look up the laws to see what they say.
FAQs About Can You Travel With Pepper Spray?
Here are some commonly asked questions about, can you travel with Pepper Spray.
What neutralizes pepper spray?
There is no neutralizer for pepper spray. Even water or oil will not decrease the effects of capsicum; they will wear off in approximately 30 minutes.
Can you fly with pepper spray in carry-on?
The FAA regulations say pepper spray can not be in checked luggage inside the cabin of a plane.
Will pepper spray set off a metal detector?
Yes, pepper spray is in a metal container, which will set off the airport detectors.
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Can You Travel With Pepper Spray – Conclusion
The answer to can you travel with pepper spray is yes and no. TSA gives guidelines, yet each airline will set its own rules to fit its needs. At the same time, a personal pepper spray canister can not be a carry on item.
If a pepper spray canister is allowed on a plane, it must be in your checked bags and meet the FAA stipulations.
Please look at the list of countries to ensure you are taking pepper spray into a country where it is illegal.
Be safe, be happy, and do enjoy your vacation.
Happy travels, my friends.