Personal Security Sprays, Devices, and Apps

The following links are provided for informational purposes only. Whether or not to use a self-defense spray, device or app is a personal decision that should be made only after carefully considering their respective pros and cons, including the limitations and risks of using them.  


In DC, except for police and licensed dealers, it is illegal to “receive, possess, control, transfer, offer for sale, sell, give, or deliver any destructive device.”  D.C. Code §§ 7-2502.01, 7-2504.01.  A “destructive device” is defined as any device “designed or redesigned, made or remade, or readily converted or restored, and intended to stun or disable a person by means of electric shock.” D.C. Code § 7-2501.01(7).


Personal Security Alarm vs Safety Whistle                                                    (

Best Personal Alarms     (

How to Choose A Personal Alarm (


Nervous about walking alone at night? Add a virtual Companion. (Washington Post, Mar. 10, 2016)

Best Self-Defense iPhone Apps You Should Have for Personal Security (

5 Free Personal Safety Apps that Can Call For Help (


Requirements in DC:

  1. Can only be used by a person over the age of 18
  2. Can only be used for self-defense, as “reasonable force” to defend yourself or your property
  3. The spray itself must meet the requirements in the DC Code

DC Police summary

It is legal for a person over the age of 18 to possess self-defense sprays in the District of Columbia, such as mace or pepper spray.

A person may use a self-defense spray only as reasonable force to defend themselves or their property and only if the self-defense spray meets the requirements [in the DC Code].

Businesses in the District of Columbia are required to notify the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) of any sale of self-defense spray by submitting a completed registration form to the MPD’s Firearms Registration Section (the form should be completed by the purchaser at the point of sale). The purchaser of the self-defense spray does not need to submit any additional documentation.

Any legal self-defense spray acquired outside the District of Columbia does not have to be registered with the MPD’s Firearms Registration Section.

D.C. Official Code:   § 7-2502.12§ 7–2502.13§ 7–2502.14

The Difference Between Mace and Pepper Spray:,  Self-Defense Ninja

Guide to Buying Pepper Spray:

Your Ultimate Guide to Pepper Spray (

The Best Pepper Spray: Reviews and Quick Guide by Self Defense Ninja (February 2015)

Pepper Spray for Self Defense (model

Top Selling Pepper Spray on Amazon:  SABRE Red Pepper Spray – Police Strength – Compact, Case & Quick Release Key Ring

Where to Purchase in DC:

Copgear, Inc., 1612 20th St NW, (202) 462-4532,  (orders must be placed online)