Senate Bill 46, passed during the 2020 Legislative Session, exempts pepper spray from the definition of a “Deadly” Weapon” in West Virginia. Any person under the age of 21 is prohibited from carrying a concealed deadly weapon pursuant to W. Va. Code § 61-7-3. Because pepper spray is now exempt from the definition of a deadly weapon, persons under 21 can carry it concealed in a purse, backpack, or a pocket.
Pepper spray provides a means of self-defense and a sense of security for many college students and other young individuals. This law will prevent young individuals from being charged and prosecuted for carrying pepper spray to protect themselves.
This law goes into effect on May 11, 2020.