What are Legal Self Defense Weapons in Canada? – Canada Mag (2022)

Self-defense is important as the world continues to be strife with dangerous people who are willing to do horrible things. Thankfully, laws were put in place to make sure that victims can defend themselves. However, these laws can be very confusing. When can you defend yourself and how? What can you use to defend yourself? We’ll answer all your questions here.

What is self-defense?

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, self-defense is the act of protecting oneself against a threat. If you’re fighting back against someone who aims to hurt you, that is considered self-defense. Self-defense usually happens in cases of attempted assault, attempted rape or sexual abuse, kidnapping, and the like.

Canada’s Laws on Self-Defense

What you should remember is that self-defense is considered legal or illegal depending on the situation and the case. It must be examined on a case-by-case basis. You can’t just scream self-defense and expect to be let go. Many Canadians have already been charged with criminal offenses even though they said they were defending themselves.

This can be confusing for a lot of people thus, seeking help and legal counsel from trustworthy lawyers is a must.

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Carrying Self-Defense Weapons in Canada

Self-defense can be confusing. What can you carry around to protect yourself without breaking laws and rules? This can be tricky. Here are a few rules to remember.

1. You can protect your house using as much force as necessary.

One rule that’s not as gray as others would be this. You can protect your home with as much force as necessary. Although you’ll need a permit or license to buy and use a gun, you can still buy other items such as pepper spray or knives to protect yourself and your home from burglaries and the like.

When an intruder enters your home, you can use force. Judges are often more lenient when it comes to this type of self-defense however, we reiterate that this can differ based on the situation and what occurred.

2. If you carry anything with the intent of harming someone, that’s technically not legal.

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This is one of the trickiest parts of the self-defense laws in Canada. A weapon is considered anything that can be used with the purpose to injure, kill, or intimidate someone. Carrying weapons such as tasers and knives can raise eyebrows even if you only use them for self-defense. This is because some people use these items as weapons to assault other people and not to defend themselves.

3. In the case of self-defense, what you can or cannot carry depends on the situation.

When something horrible does happen to you and you’ve used items such as pepper spray to help defend yourself, you’ve not yet committed a criminal offense. There will be investigators and judges who will examine the situation.

4. The laws on self-defense can still be improved.

These self-defense laws are vague, confusing, and can even be contradictory. These laws must be improved to ensure that people can have the means to protect themselves if anything were to happen. Citizens should also be educated as to what they can do, how to use weapons for protection, and what to do if one were harmed.

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How can you defend yourself?

One of the best ways to learn how to defend yourself is by taking classes. Seeing as most weapons such as pepper spray, bear spray, knives, guns, and other weapons are illegal to carry around, you’ll need to find other ways to ensure you can protect yourself. Here are some of the classes in Canada that teach you to defend yourself.

1. Wen-Do

Wen-Do is a women’s self-defense organization in Canada. It is an organization that designed programs to teach women of all ages and abilities to protect themselves mentally and physically from an assault of any form.

2. Krav Maga Toronto

Krav Maga Toronto is one of the most popular self-defense academies. They offer a variety of programs from adult programs to women-only programs to free trial classes. Krav Maga is a self-defense system that hones your instincts.

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3. Pacific Wave Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu is a popular form of martial arts and, it can help you defend yourself from attacks and protect yourself from potential threats. Pacific Wave Jiu-Jitsu is a self-defense martial arts center located in Vancouver.

The Takeaway

You should have the right to protect yourself from harm and defend yourself from people who seek to injure and hurt you. Make sure you’re safe inside and outside of your home and always be aware of your surroundings.


What self defense products are legal in Canada? ›

Tactical lights, batons, and knives can all be purchased, but just about all of them can be seen as a weapon. “It doesn't matter what it is,” White said. “Whether it's a knife, or a rifle, or a bottle of bear spray, that's obviously bear spray.

What weapons are legal in Canada? ›

Legal v.

Non-restricted: regular shotguns and rifles, and some military-style rifles and shotguns. Prohibited: most handguns that either have a short (less than 105 milimeters) barrel or are 32 or 25 caliber, full automatic weapons, guns with sawed-off barrels, and certain military rifles like the AK-47.

Are expandable batons legal in Canada? ›

Can I own a collapsible baton? Generally, it is legal to possess a collapsible baton (also called an expandable baton) with the exception of certain spring-loaded batons.

Can I carry pepper spray in Canada? ›

Is it illegal to bring pepper spray into Canada? it is a criminal offence to bring pepper spray into Canada as it is classified as prohibited as it is therefore not allowed into the country.

Are pepper balls legal in Canada? ›

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, it's legal to carry a product designed for personal protection against another human. However, mace – which has a higher concentration of oleoresin capsicum, the chemical found in pepper spray – is considered a prohibited weapon, which makes it illegal.

Are plastic knuckles legal in Canada? ›

Knuckles. In Canada, brass knuckles, or any similar devices, are listed as prohibited weapons; possession of such weapon is a criminal offence under the Criminal Code. Plastic knuckles are legal in Canada!

Is Taser legal in Canada? ›

In Canada, however, Tasers are a prohibited weapon. Only one company can import them into Canada under a special permit, and they can only sell the devices to law enforcement agencies, said RCMP Cpl. Greg Gillis, who trains police officers in how to use Tasers.

Are nunchucks legal in Canada? ›

Nunchucks: Please note that this is an illegal item under the Criminal Code of Canada; if it is presented at a pre-board screening checkpoint, protocol requires us to notify the police. This could lead to charges and prosecution to the item's holder.

Are stun guns illegal in Canada? ›

The Trail police advise that stun guns are a prohibited weapon under the criminal code of Canada and it is a serious criminal offence to possess one.

Are carbon fiber knuckles illegal in Canada? ›

Fortunately for Canadians, Monkey Knuckles are made from carbon fiber and ABS plastic making them perfectly legal to possess in Canada.

Are flamethrowers legal in Canada? ›

Flamethrowers are perfectly legal for Canadians to own. That's because they don't technically count as a firearm since the don't shoot any projectiles. The Boring Company brags about the fact that this is the world's safest flamethrower, and it's also great at parties!

Can I carry a pocket knife in Canada? ›

Canada. There is no law banning the carrying in public knives with sheaths, knives that take both hands to open and any knife with a fixed blade and certain non-prohibited folding knives, assuming they are not carried for a purpose dangerous to public peace or for the purpose of committing a criminal offense.

Is Coyote spray legal in Canada? ›

Legality of self-defence tactics

As pepper spray is illegal in Canada, some women choose to carry dog repellant, which is designed to deter dog and coyote attacks. While dog spray is sold in Canada, the manner in which it is used or even carried may not be legal depending on the circumstances.

Can I carry bear spray in Canada? ›

Yes, bear spray is legal - when labeled as bear repellent/spray. When labeled as pepper spray or for any other use (e.g. self defense), it is a prohibited weapon under Canadian law.

Can you use bear spray self defense? ›

Bear spray is the recommended tool for self defense against a bear. Bear spray is easy to use without much experience, and it's a highly effective tool for stopping or deterring attacks.


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