Know the Law: Non-Lethal Self-Defense | Texas

The following is a video transcript.

When we think of self-defense, most of the time the first thing we picture is someone defending themselves with a firearm, but there are other non-lethal weapons that are legal to carry and use for self-defense in Texas. Let’s discuss a few of them.

Pepper Spray

The most common non-lethal weapon is pepper spray, which is a chemical dispensing device sold commercially for personal protection. Pepper spray is legal to carry and use for self-defense in Texas. Let’s say, for instance, you’re leaving the store when someone approaches you and tries to take your money. If you pull out pepper spray and spray the perpetrator with it, it would likely be a legally justified use of self-defense.


The next non-lethal weapons that we get a lot of questions about are tasers. Under Texas law, there are no restrictions on the possession or use of tasers. It’s perfectly legal for you to purchase, sell, carry, or use a taser for self-defense. Be aware, however, that tasers can cause serious bodily injury or death, which may result in the taser being classified as a deadly weapon. With both pepper spray and tasers, you’ll still have to be able to explain the fear you felt to justify your use of force in self-defense, defense of others, or defense of your property.


Under Texas Law, a club is defined as an instrument that is specifically designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument. A club can include a lot of different tools, including a nightstick. Before September 1st, 2019, a club was legal to have in a premises under your control (i.e., your house or vehicle), but illegal if carried outside of a premises under your control. As of September 1st, the law now allows the carrying of clubs outside of these places.

For any questions regarding carrying or using non-lethal weapons in Texas, call Texas LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

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Comment section

6 comments on “Know the Law: Non-Lethal Self-Defense | Texas

  1. What about use of a pepper ball launcher? Where does our Lifelite Pepper Ball Launcher fall in your discussion ?

  2. what about a sword cane?

  3. What about a Sakabotou?

  4. What about whips?

    • Hello Andrew, please see the following response from a Texas Independent Program Attorney:

      “Whips are legal to purchase, possess, and carry in the State of Texas. In the event that you have to use a whip in self-defense you must make sure that you are in a situation where you can use force. In the event that a district attorney wants to charge you with aggravated assault you need to make sure that the circumstances are such that you would be justified in using deadly force.”

  5. What about expandable clubs….legal?

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