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Pepper spray can provide a non-lethal means of self defense, but laws surrounding its sale and possession vary greatly by state. If you’re considering purchasing pepper spray in Hawaii, here are the key things you need to know.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Pepper spray is legal to possess and use in Hawaii with some restrictions. Adults can purchase pepper spray from licensed firearm dealers or order it online to be shipped.

However, the pepper spray must meet certain requirements on formula strength and container size.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything pertaining to the Hawaii laws on pepper spray, where and how you can legally obtain and carry it, and the specific formula and container restrictions you must follow.

Pepper Spray Laws and Regulations in Hawaii

Pepper spray legality and possession

Pepper spray is legal to purchase, possess, and use for self defense purposes in Hawaii. There are no restrictions on who can buy or carry pepper spray, meaning civilians over 18 years old do not need a permit or license.

However, pepper spray cannot be used to injure, harass, or annoy other persons without just cause.

Allowable formula strength

Hawaii restricts the formula strength of pepper spray allowed for civilian use. The maximum allowance is 10% oleoresin capsicum (OC) concentration or lower. This means pepper sprays cannot contain more than 10% OC, which is the active burning ingredient derived from chili peppers.

Container size restrictions

There are restrictions on container size for pepper sprays in Hawaii:

  • Pepper spray containers must not hold more than 2 fluid ounces (59 ml) of formula.
  • The maximum allowable size restrictions serve to prevent very high-capacity pepper spray cans with excessive active ingredient from being widely available.

To summarize, civilians over 18 years old can legally buy or possess a pepper spray in Hawaii with an OC concentration of 10% or less and a container size not exceeding 2 fluid ounces, for self defense purposes.

Where to Buy Pepper Spray in Hawaii

Pepper spray retailers on Oahu, Big Island, Maui, Kauai

There are several brick-and-mortar stores across the major Hawaiian islands that sell pepper spray products:

Independent pharmacies and ABC stores may also sell pepper sprays on the islands, but product availability can vary.

Online retailers that ship to Hawaii

For wider selection and convenience, many Hawaii residents order pepper sprays from online specialty stores that ship directly to their homes. Some reputable websites include:

Pepper Spray Store
Pepper Spray Planet
Defend Yourself Now

When ordering online, most sites ship pepper sprays to Hawaii addresses using ground delivery services. Delivery times can range from 6-10 days.

Under Hawaii law, pepper spray devices containing oleoresin capsicum with no more than 2.5 ounces of solution are legal to purchase and carry for self defense purposes.

How to Properly Carry and Use Pepper Spray in Hawaii

Concealed vs open carry

Hawaii allows citizens to carry pepper spray, but there are some important rules to follow. When in public, you must carry pepper spray in a concealed manner, such as in your pocket or bag.

Openly carrying or displaying pepper spray in public could result in a petty misdemeanor charge under Hawaii’s laws (HRS ยง708-998).

So keep it hidden until needed for self defense.

Using pepper spray for self defense

You may legally deploy pepper spray in an act of self defense or defense of others. Hawaii law allows you to use force when you reasonably believe it’s immediately necessary to protect against another person’s use of unlawful force.

But use no more force than reasonably necessary and cease use once the threat has ended.

When using pepper spray to defend yourself:

Use good judgment – consider severity of threat, location/ability to retreat, and risk to bystanders before deploying.

What to do after you’ve used pepper spray

After using pepper spray in Hawaii, it’s vital to:

  • Leave area immediately if safe to do so and contact 911
  • Avoid rubbing eyes or skin, which worsens irritation
  • Rinse skin with water, soap; remove contaminated clothes
  • Seek medical help if needed for eye/skin irritation or other injuries
Lie about reason for use Be truthful when questioned by authorities
Use pepper spray illegally or for harassment Only use when lawful self defense is necessary

Following these proper carry, use, and aftercare guidelines will help ensure you stay out of legal trouble when using pepper spray to protect yourself in Hawaii.

Also read: How Safe Is Hawaii? Everything You Need To Know


As you have learned, you can legally buy and carry pepper spray for self defense in Hawaii but there are important regulations around product strength and size. Be sure to purchase an approved, legal formula from a licensed source.

When used responsibly and properly, pepper spray can help provide extra protection without inflicting permanent harm.

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