Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Mace Pepper Spray

Mace is a type of tear gas in the form of an aerosol spray which propels the tear gas formulation that is mixed with a volatile solvent. This product is sometimes used as a self-defense device by individuals or as a non-lethal method to control suspected criminals by law enforcement officials.

The original formulation consisted of 1% chloroacetophenone in a solvent of sec-butanol, propylene glycol, cyclohexene, and dipropylene glycol methyl ether. Most formulations today now also include Oleoresin Capsicum, the active ingredient in pepper spray. This ingredient comes from a capsicum hot pepper plant.

Mace was originally manufactured under the name “Chemical Mace” by Lake Erie Chemical (a former division of Smith & Wesson) in 1962, but is now a registered trademark of Mace Security International. The Mace sold today by Mace Security International is pepper spray rather than tear gas. Many other companies now manufacture similar products. “Mace” and “Pepper Spray” are frequently used interchangeable and they are the same product.

Most law enforcement agencies require that their personnel become certified on similar aerosol spray devices such as pepper spray before using them on the field. In some agencies, participants must endure a spray directly to the face and open eyes. Chemically inactive versions of the spray are also available for training purposes.

The effect of “Mace” or “cbd spray” is believed to vary somewhat from one person to another. The most common effect is a burning sensation on the area affected with the spray (Victims have been quoted as saying it feels like “having your face drenched in gasoline and lit on fire”). If in contact with the eyes it causes an automatic closing of the eyes due to intense pain if one tries to open their eyes. This, along with a feeling of suffocating if inhaled, causes the person to be very vulnerable and dependent, which makes it much easier for Law Enforcement Officials to overpower a person suspected of committing a criminal act. Effects can be minimal on those under the influence of alcohol or drugs such as amphetamine or cocaine. The duration of the effects vary from 30 minutes up to 2 hours depending on the person and the treatment.

Most pepper sprays on the market today contain the active ingredient oleoresin capsicum or OC. You should try to determine that any pepper spray you are considering purchasing for self defense purposes contains OC as one of the active ingredients. The OC is derived from Cayenne peppers. These are some of the hottest peppers in the world. Unlike the original chemical Mace or tear gas, which are irritants, pepper spray OC is an inflammatory agent. Contact with mucous membranes (eyes, nose, throat and lungs) causes immediate dilation of the capillaries. This can result in temporary blindness and instant inflammation of the breathing tube tissues and systematically cuts of all but life support breathing. OC also will create an intense burning sensation on the surface of the skin. However, OC will cause no lasting after effects. The effects last from 15 to 60 minutes. Because OC is an inflammatory agent and not an irritant it is very effective on those who feel no pain such as psychotics and those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Is Mace Pepper Spray legal to use? Yes, in general, Mace Pepper Spray is legal to use and carry in all 50 states. There are some exceptions, however. For example, any passenger on a commercial airline flight is prohibited from carrying on Mace Pepper Spray. Mace Pepper Spray is generally classified as a non-lethal weapon and there are certain specific instances when the possession or use of ANY type of weapon should be restricted in the interest of public safety.

Certain states have there own laws that prohibit the shipment of Mace Pepper Spray to that state such as:

New York: New York residents may only purchase defense sprays including Mace or other brands of pepper spray/tear gas from licensed Firearms Dealers or licensed Pharmacists in that state.

Massachusetts: Massachusetts residents may only purchase defense sprays including Mace or other brands of pepper spray/tear gas from licensed Firearms Dealers in that state.

These states have specific laws that restrict the type of Mace Pepper Spray that can be shipped and used in these states:

Michigan: OC Pepper spray can be no stronger then a 2% concentrate (Different companies can sell different concentrations.) CS is the only Tear Gas accepted and can be no larger then 35 grams per can. No combination spray allowed.

Wisconsin: Pepper only. No Tear gas, UV Dye or combination sprays. OC can be no stronger then a 10% solution. Can must be between 15-60 grams only. Must have safety feature.

When should I use pepper spray? Although no defense item is ever 100% effective in every situation, pepper spray can help you get out of a dangerous situation in a hurry and will offer you some protection when used properly. You should ONLY use pepper spray if you are physically threatened or your life is in danger. Please note that IT IS A CRIME to use pepper spray to commit malicious acts. There have been some rare, but serious, cases where individuals have actually died after being sprayed with pepper spray. Usually this was a case where the pepper spray aggravated some other unknown underlying medical condition such as heart disease or breathing problems.

How do I use pepper spray? If you have to use your pepper spray make sure you have distance between you and the threat if at all possible. Pay careful attention to the wind direction! You do not want to fire your pepper spray if you feel and kind of wind in your face. Instead, walk around until your back is to the direction the wind is coming from. Aim the spray at the eyes and facial region of the threat then release a 1 to 2 second burst of spray. After you have done this MOVE out of the way but keep your eyes on the threat. Pepper spray can take a couple of moments to cause a reaction and by watching the reactions of the threat you will be able to determine if you will require another shot of pepper spray. Boxers have a saying “Stick and Move.”Well, the same applies here. Just remember “Spray and Move.” Once the threat is eliminated seek help and call the police


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