Where to get pepper spray? And maybe tips for staying safe while jogging?

woman spraying pepper spraySean emails:

I like to go out jogging after work with my kid in the jogging stroller. Unfortunately, sunsets are creeping up earlier and earlier leaving me finishing my runs on trails alone and in the dark. In an effort to keep running, but to do-so more safely, I wanted pick up a bottle of mace / pepper-spray to help ward off any potential predators. Do any of your readers know where can I buy some in the area?

As it happens, New York State has a law about who can have pepper spray, where it can be bought, and how it can be used. (The state legalized its possession and use for self defense in 1996, the last state to do so. It was controversial at the time -- apparently Rudy Giuliani was a vocal opponent.) The rules are, basically:

+ Only people age 18 and older can have "self-defense sprays." A no one who's been convicted of a felony or assault.

+ It can only be sold by a licensed dealer, either a firearms dealer or pharmacy or a vendor approved by the State Police.

+ Using the spray in any way other than self defense is a crime.

So, suggestions for Sean? And if you have additional ideas about jogging safety or maybe self-defense classes, please share.

photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flickr (cc)


I don't have one yet, but am liking the specs on the Kimber Pepperblaster II, which has a 13 ft range, 90mph delivery speed which is supposed to reduce blowback. Their website is www.kimberamerica.com

My advice to Sean is, don't worry. Unless this baby stroller is full of benjamins and laced with platinum spinner rims, the guy jogging with a push stroller doesn't need to worry about predators. Plus as winter sets in the lions migrate to the savannah.

I think pepper spray gives a false sense of security. You're more likely to spray yourself and your child than an attacker. My mom kept hers in her pocket. In order to defend herself she would have to notice her attacker well before he attacked. Get out her pepper spray and take off the lid. Ask the attacker to stand 5-8 feet away downwind. And then spray. An unlikely scenario. You’re better of changing your habits than investing in pepper spray, in my opinion.

I'd recommend finding some better lit trails, investing in headlamps, finding a cozy neighborhood with street lights or changing your running schedule.

As far as safety tips – invest in a headlamp and reflective gear. Be familiar with your territory. Don’t listen to music while you run. Carry identification or invest in a runners ID tag.

Well said D.

Several colleagues have asked if I was worried about running in Albany after dark. I pointed out that A. I'm usually with my dog and B. Because I'm running with my dog, I'm usually carrying a bag of fresh dog poop.

I bought pepper spray for my daughter from the Army Navy store on Central Ave near the Mohawk Commons in Niskayuna. Fortunately, she has never used it. I recently used it to keep squirrels away from an entry point into my house. I think it worked!

I bought pepper spray for myself on a couple of occasions at B&J Guns on Central Ave in Colonie. They are friendly, give you a brief NYS form to fill out, and send you on your way. Cost is about $20.

Thanks Kriskaten for the B and J gun tip, i'll be calling them on Monday.

eBay or Amazon would probably be a lot cheaper.

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