According to the Firearms Act of 1995 pepper spray is prohibited and illegal within Canada. Any device or substance such as pepper spray or mace that is designed to be used for the purpose of injuring, immobilizing or otherwise incapacitating a person is prohibited according to the Criminal Code of Canada.
Only law enforcement officers with permits are legally allowed to carry or possess pepper spray. If pepper spray is used on another person causing serious bodily harm or harming the environment it can carry a penalty up to a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment of up to 3 years. Since Canada is strict on self defense weapons most knives, handguns, tasers, and automatic rifles are also prohibited.
Bringing Pepper Spray into Canada
Bringing pepper spray into Canada is also illegal and can carry fines and possible imprisonment. You are however allowed to bring in animal spray such as bear deterrent.
Certain firearms such as hunting rifles are allowed to be brought into Canada but they require you to fill out a Non-Resident Declaration form. Other firearms such as semiautomatic weapons can be brought into Canada under certain circumstances but they may require an Authorization to Transport (ATT) permit. You can get an application for an Authorization to Transport permit by contacting the Canada Firearms Centre.
What about Bear or Dog Spray?
It may seem counter-intuitive but Canada’s Pest Control Product Act allows you to carry bear spray or dog spray for protection against animals.
Bear and dog spray are forms of pepper spray comprised of Oleoresin Capsicum and an aerosol propellant used to deter attacks from bears, dogs, and other violent animals.
Bear spray contains pretty much the same ingredients as pepper spray but the only catch is it must be intended for use on animals and not humans. If you are caught using bear spray like a traditional pepper spray you can be criminally charged.
Bear spray can be purchased through most sporting goods or army surplus stores such as Canadian Tire but it is required that you be over the age of 18. Some vendors may even require you to sign a Health Canada waiver form to warrant that you will assume responsibility that the bear spray will be used in accordance to all applicable laws and for it to not be used on humans. The same is applicable for dog spray.
Bear spray is normally packaged in a large canister which makes it difficult for anyone to carry it as a concealed weapon. Dog spray on the other hand is sold in smaller keychain size canisters.
To get further information on pepper spray and other self defense weapon laws in Canada its best to contact your local law enforcement department.
If you enjoyed reading this guide on is pepper spray legal in Canada help us out by sharing it via your favorite social network or leave us feedback by writing a comment below.