2009 California Penal Code - Section 12401-12404 :: Article 1. General Provisions

PENAL CODE
SECTION 12401-12404

12401.  "Tear gas" as used in this chapter shall apply to and
include all liquid, gaseous or solid substances intended to produce
temporary physical discomfort or permanent injury through being
vaporized or otherwise dispersed in the air, but does not apply to,
and shall not include, any substance registered as an economic poison
as provided in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 12751) of Division
7 of the Agricultural Code provided that such substance is not
intended to be used to produce discomfort or injury to human beings.

12402.  The term "tear gas weapon" as used in this chapter shall
apply to and include:
   (a) Any shell, cartridge, or bomb capable of being discharged or
exploded, when the discharge or explosion will cause or permit the
release or emission of tear gases.
   (b) Any revolvers, pistols, fountain pen guns, billies, or other
form of device, portable or fixed, intended for the projection or
release of tear gas except those regularly manufactured and sold for
use with firearm ammunition.

12403.  Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit any person who is a
peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section
830) of Title 3 of Part 2, from purchasing, possessing, transporting,
or using any tear gas or tear gas weapon if the person has
satisfactorily completed a course of instruction approved by the
Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training in the use of tear
gas.

12403.1.  Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit any member of the
military and naval forces of this state or of the United States or
any federal law enforcement officer from purchasing, possessing, or
transporting any tear gas or tear gas weapon for official use in the
discharge of his duties.

12403.5.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a person
holding a license as a private investigator or private patrol
operator issued pursuant to Chapter 11 (commencing with Section
7500), Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, or uniformed
patrolmen employees of a private patrol operator, may purchase,
possess, or transport any tear gas weapon, if it is used solely for
defensive purposes in the course of the activity for which the
license was issued and if the person has satisfactorily completed a
course of instruction approved by the Department of Consumer Affairs
in the use of tear gas.

12403.7.  Notwithstanding any other law, any person may purchase,
possess, or use tear gas and tear gas weapons for the projection or
release of tear gas if the tear gas and tear gas weapons are used
solely for self-defense purposes, subject to the following
requirements:
   (a) No person convicted of a felony or any crime involving an
assault under the laws of the United States, the State of California,
or any other state, government, or country or convicted of misuse of
tear gas under subdivision (g) shall purchase, possess, or use tear
gas or tear gas weapons.
   (b) No person who is addicted to any narcotic drug shall purchase,
possess, or use tear gas or tear gas weapons.
   (c) No person shall sell or furnish any tear gas or tear gas
weapon to a minor.
   (d) No person who is a minor shall purchase, possess, or use tear
gas or tear gas weapons.
   (e) (1) No person shall purchase, possess, or use any tear gas
weapon that expels a projectile, or that expels the tear gas by any
method other than an aerosol spray, or that contains more than 2.5
ounces net weight of aerosol spray.
   (2) Every tear gas container and tear gas weapon that may be
lawfully purchased, possessed, and used pursuant to this section
shall have a label that states: "WARNING: The use of this substance
or device for any purpose other than self-defense is a crime under
the law. The contents are dangerous--use with care."
   (3) After January 1, 1984, every tear gas container and tear gas
weapon that may be lawfully purchased, possessed, and used pursuant
to this section shall have a label that discloses the date on which
the useful life of the tear gas weapon expires.
   (4) Every tear gas container and tear gas weapon that may be
lawfully purchased pursuant to this section shall be accompanied at
the time of purchase by printed instructions for use.
   (f) Effective March 1, 1994, every tear gas container and tear gas
weapon that may be lawfully purchased, possessed, and used pursuant
to this section shall be accompanied by an insert including
directions for use, first aid information, safety and storage
information, and explanation of the legal ramifications of improper
use of the tear gas container or tear gas product.
   (g) Any person who uses tear gas or tear gas weapons except in
self-defense is guilty of a public offense and is punishable by
imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years
or in a county jail not to exceed one year or by a fine not to exceed
one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment,
except that, if the use is against a peace officer, as defined in
Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2,
engaged in the performance of his or her official duties and the
person committing the offense knows or reasonably should know that
the victim is a peace officer, the offense is punishable by
imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months or two or three years or
by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both the fine and
imprisonment.

12403.8.  (a) Notwithstanding paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of
Section 12403.7, a minor who has attained the age of 16 years may
purchase and possess tear gas or tear gas weapons pursuant to this
chapter if he or she is accompanied by a parent or guardian, or has
the written consent of his or her parent or guardian.
   (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section
12403.7, a person may sell or furnish tear gas or a tear gas weapon
to a minor who has attained the age of 16 years and who is
accompanied by a parent or guardian, or who presents a statement of
consent signed by the minor's parent or guardian.
   (c) Any civil liability of a minor arising out of his or her use
of tear gas or a tear gas weapon other than for self-defense is
imposed upon the person, parent, or guardian who signed the statement
of consent specified in subdivision (b) who shall be jointly and
severally liable with the minor for any damages proximately resulting
from the negligent or wrongful act or omission of the minor in the
use of the tear gas or a tear gas weapon.

12403.9.  Custodial officers of any county may carry tear gas
weapons pursuant to Section 12403 only while on duty. These custodial
officers may carry tear gas weapons while off duty only in
accordance with all other laws.

12404.  Nothing in this chapter authorizes the possession of tear
gas or tear gas weapons in any institution described in Section 4574,
or within the grounds belonging or adjacent to any such institution,
except where authorized by the person in charge of such institution.


Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. California may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.