It's a widely used form of self-defense but Iowa has specific regulations on pepper spray.

Girls always have to pay attention to our surroundings, in daylight or at night. We carry our keys like claws because we have to. I'm a city girl for sure but because I walk through alleys and dark parking lots, I have to be ready to jump to my own defense. I have a loud flashing alarm on my keychain and I've walked around with pepper spray since I was a teenager.

All states are fine with carrying pepper spray for self-defense purposes, but Iowa has an age restriction.


According to World Population Review, kids and felons can't have access to pepper spray at all. But in Iowa, you have to be at least 18 to legally carry pepper spray. I think I had mace on me well before then but that's Iowa law.

Unlike several other states, Iowa doesn't have restrictions on the size of the pepper spray container or any specific requirements on it's ingredients. You still can't fly with it (that could be a $25,000 fine by the way) or carry it into government buildings. And of course, it can only be used for self-defense purposes.

If you have a teen that you want to stay safe, get her/him some kind of self-defense mechanism, like an alarm keychain. I personally learned a lot from a self-defense fighting class. Teach your teen what to do in the case of an emergency and make sure they're as prepared as they could be if something were to happen.

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