City and Borough of Juneau
155 S. Seward Street
Juneau, Alaska 99801
tel. 907-586-5240
fax 907-586-5385
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Q. I spend a lot of time out at night by myself taking photographs of the night sky. Is it legal to carry a collapsible baton like this one: http://www.amazon.com/Fury-Tokushu-Keibo-Manual-Open/dp/B009S79U5M as a protection device against crime or say a curious bear? What about bear spray? Would I get in trouble using that on a person in self-defense? I'm not as young as I used to be.


Dear Juneau Resident,

It is legal...but using a baton on a bear? That might turn a curious bear into an angry bear. The bear spray might be a better bet to deter an exploring bear. If you carry the baton concealed remember that it does meet the definition of a deadly weapon so you need to tell any officer that contacts you that you have it and get permission to have it concealed on you in someone else's residence.

Whether or not it is legal to use bear spray on a human would depend on the totality of the circumstances. A person is allowed to defend himself or another person so the level of attack would justify or not justify the use of any item used in a particular way for self-defense. The item used could be a pen, a bag, bear spray, or anything a person can grab. Someone threatening a person with a knife justifies a higher level of force than someone acting threatening by yelling and shaking a fist and placing someone in fear but not actually touching someone. Any officer, prosecutor, and potentially a jury would have to look at the complete picture.



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