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Safety Codes

July 08, 1994|GARY LIBMAN

State laws regulate the use of Mace, pepper spray and stun guns. To carry Mace or pepper spray, a consumer must acquire a $17 state certificate by passing a 30-question test, watching a 30-minute video, or attending a certified class at a police station, community college or private academy.

The written test and video are available at many gun or uniform shops, or security firms where the products are sold.

It's a misdemeanor to carry a pepper spray not certified for sale in this state. (Only one pepper spray, First Defense MK-6C, has been approved.)

It's an infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $100, to carry Mace or First Defense without a certificate, and a misdemeanor or felony to use the sprays in a non-defensive capacity.

Stun guns are forbidden to anyone who has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving assault, but there is no waiting period to buy one.

Stun guns differ from Tasers, which in California may be used only by law enforcement agencies.

Stun guns have metal prongs that must touch an attacker's skin to deliver a shock, while Tasers propel barbs attached to wires through the air so they can penetrate an attacker's skin and deliver a shock from a distance.

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