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Question: "Is it legal to carry mace or a similar device while running or walking? I have heard it is considered a concealed weapon and would like to know the answer to this one. How about carrying a stun gun type device? You suggested runners carry a defensive weapon while running, which sounds like a good idea if it is not against the law."

Answer: The statute about carrying concealed weapons makes an exception fordevices defined as "Self defense chemical sprays". Here is what the statute says about it: "chemical weapon or device" means any weapon of such nature, except a device known as a "self-defense chemical spray." "Self-defense chemical spray" means a device carried solely for purposes of lawful self-defense that is compact in size, designed to be carried on or about the person, and contains not more than two ounces of chemical.

The following statute should clarify the issue of defensive chemical weapons and stun guns:

790.01Carrying concealed weapons.--

(1) Except as provided in subsection (4), a person who carries a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device on or about his or her person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(2) A person who carries a concealed firearm on or about his or her person commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

(3) This section does not apply to a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm pursuant to the provisions of s. 790.06.

(4) It is not a violation of this section for a person to carry for purposes of lawful self-defense, in a concealed manner:

(a) A self-defense chemical spray.

(b) A nonlethal stun gun or remote stun gun or other nonlethal electric weapon or device which does not fire a dart or projectile and is designed solely for defensive purposes.

(5) This section does not preclude any prosecution for the use of an electric weapon or device or remote stun gun or self-defense chemical spray during the commission of any criminal offense under s. 790.07, s. 790.10, s. 790.23, or s. 790.235, or for any other criminal offense.