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Pepper Spray/Tear Gas in New York City:

N.Y. City Admin. Code § 10-131(e) requires a permit to possess or carry "any lachrymating, asphyxiating, incapacitating or deleterious gas or gases, or liquid or liquids, or chemical or chemicals." But I'm getting mixed information -- including from police precincts -- about whether such permits are available, and whom I need to ask for such a permit; nor could I find any online instructions for this process, including permit application forms and the like.

Do any of our readers know more about this, or have personal experience with getting such permits?

More Importantly . . .:

deleterious gas or gases


I'm pretty sure this part of the Code is violated constantly, most offensively in the confines of a crowded elevator or subway car.
9.23.2009 7:34pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Deleterious gas? So I need a permit to fart?
9.23.2009 7:41pm
rc:
You know an example of an asphyxiating liquid? Dihydrogen monoxide! ILLEGAL in New York!

Join the fight to ban dihydrogen monoxide!
9.23.2009 8:27pm
Fub:
N.Y. City Admin. Code § 10-131(e) requires a permit to possess or carry "any lachrymating, asphyxiating, incapacitating or deleterious gas or gases, or liquid or liquids, or chemical or chemicals."
So, does this require a permit to possess a bottle of Tobasco sauce? Or even more powerful habañero concoctions?
9.23.2009 8:28pm
UWS denizen:
Eugene,

If you find out the answer to this permitting question at some point, could you post it? I'm very interested in learning the answer. What a city.
9.23.2009 8:34pm
Bob in SeaTac (mail):
Yes, it's even worse. Not only is it illegal for the law abiding to protect themselves with guns while the powerful and connected either have government provided armed body guards or the privledge of a CCW, but they are prevented by law from having even pepper spray for protection.

Sarcasm on/ Isn't this a wonderful city!!! /Sarcasm off
9.23.2009 11:54pm
glangston (mail):
I posted this elsewhere and the only pertinent comment was that only LEOs and other high risk occupations can get the permits.
New Yorker Mag article 1971
9.24.2009 12:17am
Mike McDougal:

Join the fight to ban dihydrogen monoxide!

The Wet Menace
9.24.2009 1:15am
Larrya (mail) (www):
I posted this elsewhere and the only pertinent comment was that only LEOs and other high risk occupations can get the permits.
Except if you check the occasionally-published list of NYC licensees, it turns out that “other high risk occupations” include the politically connected and celebrities, not people like cab drivers who actually experience high crime rates.

You actually have to get a gun permit, which will be limited to pepper spray. Finding someone to give you the forms is part of the delaying process designed to deter applications. Then, NYC’s license law is “discretionary,” meaning even if you jump through the gauntlet of hoops you will still be turned down unless you have considerable clout.
9.24.2009 2:30am
pintler:
No help to EV, alas, but here's the flip side of the coin:

RCW 9.91.960

(2) No town, city, county, special purpose district, quasi-municipal corporation or other unit of government may prohibit a person eighteen years old or older, or a person fourteen years old or older who has the permission of a parent or guardian to do so, from purchasing or possessing a personal protection spray device or from using such a device in a manner consistent with the authorized use of force under RCW 9A.16.020. ...


Post Heller, I'd think that an NYC pepper spray 'bear arms' case would present the court with an interesting set of facts.
Pepper spray is a thoroughly modern armament, useful for the self defense right central to Heller, with no real downside and not typically used by crooks.
9.24.2009 8:15am
JNHeath (mail):
Fub, you're right about the habenero -- a diminutive employee of my father's decades ago carried cayenne pepper in a folded paper in his shirt pocket, which he flung into his opponent's eyes during brawls. The NY law is ridiculously broad -- any householder with a can of Draino or bottle of soap could be violating it.
9.24.2009 9:53am
Fact Checker:
I'd think that an NYC pepper spray 'bear arms' case would present the court with an interesting set of facts.

More than you may think. Pepper spray and all tear agents are considered chemical weapons and are thus arguably should no longer considered military arms as they are banned by international treaty (and would not be covered by the second amendment).
9.24.2009 11:03am
pintler:

Pepper spray and all tear agents are considered chemical weapons and are thus arguably should no longer considered military arms as they are banned by international treaty (and would not be covered by the second amendment).


That's going to make a lot of police departments unhappy...
9.24.2009 11:13am
Fact Checker:
That's going to make a lot of police departments unhappy..

They're banned for military use--not law enforcement use.
9.24.2009 11:17am
Fact Checker:
The police can also use bullets that are illegal for military use (e.g. hollow points)
9.24.2009 11:18am
More Importantly . . .:

Pepper spray and all tear agents are ... arguably should no longer [be] considered military arms ... and [therefore] would not be covered by the second amendment.


I'm a tad confused: is it military arms (select fire sub-machine guns, assault rifles, and man-portable support machine guns) that are "covered by the second amendment," or is it the "reasonable for individual self defense" arms (concealable handguns, short-barreled shotguns, fragmentary and/or expanding ammunition, chemical agents, etc.) that are thereby protected?
9.24.2009 1:00pm
DennisN (mail):
Fact Checker:

Pepper spray and all tear agents are considered chemical weapons and are thus arguably should no longer considered military arms as they are banned by international treaty


Can you cite such a treaty? Hague IV only covers poisonous weapons.
9.24.2009 2:13pm
PersonFromPorlock:
More Importantly:

I'm a tad confused: is it military arms (select fire sub-machine guns, assault rifles, and man-portable support machine guns) that are "covered by the second amendment," or is it the "reasonable for individual self defense" arms (concealable handguns, short-barreled shotguns, fragmentary and/or expanding ammunition, chemical agents, etc.) that are thereby protected?

Actually, both classes of arms are protected: if the arms in the case at hand are civilian in nature, the protection is for militia-style weapons; and if the arms in the case at hand are militia-style, the protection applies to civilian-type weapons.

It's simple once you realize how it works.
9.24.2009 4:24pm
Deoxy (mail):
That's so broad that there are really very few household chemicals that wouldn't fall under it. That's rather silly.

What I've heard suggested, and would suggest myself if I were asked, would be to carry a can of oven-cleaner. You know, the kind that warns to use it and then stay away from the fumes for a long time? Oh, and carry it in a Wal-mart (or equivalent) bag.

It's much more effective than pepper spray, you aren't carrying anything devised as a weapon, and if asked, hey, you were just taking it home from the store.

That's still a LOT more honest than the government is being with their reading of the Constitution, among other things.
9.24.2009 5:55pm

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