Title:
Pepper Spray Canister Holster
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A holster for a pepper spray canister includes a holster body, a trigger pivotably attached to the holster body for movement between a latching position and a release position and a biasing mechanism attached to the holster body and in operative engagement with the canister to eject the canister from the holster body when the trigger is moved to the release position. When the trigger is in the latching position, the trigger is directly engaged with the canister and the canister is retained within the holster body against a force of the biasing mechanism.



Inventors:
Nistico, Edward J. (Atlantic City, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/465890
Publication Date:
02/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/21/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/245, 224/914
International Classes:
A45F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LANDOLFI, JR., STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PANITCH SCHWARZE BELISARIO & NADEL LLP (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A holster for a pepper spray canister, comprising: a holster body; a trigger pivotably attached to the holster body for movement between a latching position and a release position; and a biasing mechanism attached to the holster body and in operative engagement with the canister to eject the canister from the holster body when the trigger is moved to the release position, wherein with the trigger in the latching position, the trigger is directly engaged with the canister and the canister is retained within the holster body against a force of the biasing mechanism.

2. The holster for a pepper spray canister of claim 1, wherein the holster body has an opening for receiving a portion of the pepper spray canister.

3. The holster for a pepper spray canister of claim 1 further comprising a belt loop secured to the holster body and defining an opening for receiving a belt to support the holster body on the belt.

4. The holster for a pepper spray canister of claim 3, wherein the belt loop has a removable sidewall.

5. The holster for a pepper spray canister of claim 1, wherein a trigger spring biases the trigger into the latching position.

6. The holster for pepper spray canister of claim 1, wherein the biasing mechanism is a spring.

7. The holster for a pepper spray canister of claim 6, wherein the holster body includes a first end and a second end, the second end having an opening for receiving a portion of the pepper spray canister, the spring being attached to the first end of holster body.

8. A combination holster and pepper spray canister, the combination comprising: a pepper spray canister; a holster body having an opening, a portion of the pepper spray canister being positioned in the holster body; a trigger attached to the holster body for movement between a latching position and a release position; and a canister biasing mechanism attached to the holster body and in operative engagement with the canister to eject the canister from the holster body when the trigger is moved to the release position, wherein with the trigger in the latching position, the canister is retained within the holster body against a force of the biasing mechanism.

9. The combination of claim 8, wherein the trigger is pivotably mounted to the holster body.

10. The combination of claim 8, further comprising a belt loop secured to the holster body and defining an opening for receiving a belt to support the holster body on the belt.

11. The combination of claim 10, wherein the belt loop has a removable sidewall.

12. The combination of claim 8, wherein a trigger spring biases the trigger into the latching position.

13. The combination of claim 8, wherein the biasing mechanism is a spring.

14. The combination of claim 13, wherein the holster body includes a first end and a second end, the second end having an opening for receiving a portion of the pepper spray canister, the spring being attached to the first end of holster body

15. The combination of claim 8, wherein with the trigger in the latching position, the trigger directly engages the canister.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent application No. 60/709,508 filed Aug. 19, 2005 entitled “Pepper Spray Canister Holster”, the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to an apparatus for enabling an individual to carry a spray container. More particularly, the present invention relates to a holster for carrying a container of spray, such as a self-defense pepper spray which enables quick and safe access thereof.

Pepper spray containers are used to deliver a stream or spray of liquid for the purpose of immobilizing an attacker. Such pepper sprays are used for personal defense, and also by police agencies as a more humane substitute for lethal force.

It is known to provide holsters adapted to be attached to a user's belt for the convenient transport of pepper spray canisters. Some pepper spray canisters come equipped with their own carrier to cover and prevent unintended discharge of the spray container. The problem with any of the mechanisms for preventing unwanted discharge is that such mechanisms severely hinder the ability to produce the spray container quickly from its storage position. With holsters having a safety cover flap, the use of the flap type holster arrangement does not enable the spray container to be produced as quickly as it is necessary.

In order to quickly produce the canister from the holster, release mechanisms have been introduced. Some holsters are equipped with a side trigger or button that urges the canister from the holster. The short coming of such a release mechanism is that the side buttons may accidentally be depressed. In addition, such mechanisms require several parts, increasing manufacturing costs.

In order to prevent accidental discharge from the holster, twisting release holsters have been utilized. Such a release mechanism requires a twisting motion of the canister to release it from the holster. The short coming of such twisting release mechanisms is that the twisting motion may take additional time in an emergency situation to ensure that the canister is twisted in the correct direction and with sufficient rotation. Accidental release from the holster is also possible if the user slides or rubs against a surface causing the canister to twist.

A need therefore exists for a personal protection canister holster providing for quick and convenient release of a pepper spray canister from a holster without accidental release.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly stated, an embodiment of the present invention is directed to a holster for a pepper spray canister. The holster includes a holster body, a trigger pivotably attached to the holster body for movement between a latching position and a release position, and a biasing mechanism attached to the holster body and in operative engagement with the canister to eject the canister from the holster body when the trigger is moved to the release position. When the trigger is in the latching position, the trigger is directly engaged with the canister and the canister is retained within the holster body against a force of the biasing mechanism.

Another embodiment of the present invention is directed to a holster and pepper spray canister combination. The combination includes a pepper spray canister, a holster body having an opening with a portion of the pepper spray canister being positioned in the holster body. A trigger is attached to the holster body for movement between a latching position and a release position. A canister biasing mechanism is attached to the holster body and in operative engagement with the canister to eject the canister from the holster body when the trigger is moved to the release position. When the trigger is in the latching position, the canister is retained within the holster body against a force of the biasing mechanism.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the drawings, embodiments which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a pepper spray canister holster and pepper spray canister in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the pepper spray canister holster assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear elevational view of the pepper spray canister holster assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the pepper spray canister holster assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross-section view of the pepper spray canister holster assembly taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is an upper perspective view of the holster body assembly of the pepper spray canister holster assembly of FIG. 1, shown with the pepper spray canister removed;

FIG. 7 is a rear upper perspective view of the holster body assembly of the pepper spray canister holster assembly of FIG. 1, shown with the pepper spray canister removed;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a trigger lever of the pepper spray canister holster assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the trigger lever of the pepper spray canister holster assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the pepper spray canister holster assembly shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a pepper spray canister holster assembly of FIG. 1 showing the belt assembly with a removable sidewall; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a pepper spray canister holster of FIG. 1 showing another configuration of the belt assembly with a removable sidewall.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Certain terminology is used in the following description for convenience only and is not limiting. The words, “right”, “left”, “lower” and “upper” designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words “inwardly” and “outwardly” refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the preferred pepper spray canister holster and designated parts thereof. The terminology includes the above-listed words, derivatives thereof and words of similar import. Additionally, the word, “a” as used in the specification means, “at least one”.

Referring to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements throughout, there is shown in FIGS. 1-10 a preferred embodiment of a pepper spray canister holster assembly, generally designated 10, in accordance with the present invention. The canister holster assembly 10 includes a pepper spray canister 12, a holster body assembly or holster 14 and a belt clip assembly or belt clip 16. The pepper spray canister 12 is shown housed within the holster body assembly 14 for transport on a user's belt (not shown). The holster assembly 10 can be used for transport of any type of appropriately sized canisters, and is not limited to pepper spray canisters 12 of the specific type shown and described. The illustrated pepper spray canister 12 has a top 18 a bottom 20, a retaining protrusion 24 and a side clip 22. The pepper spray canister 12 is not limited to the depicted canister 12, and may include a wide variety of pepper spray canister configurations.

Referring to FIGS. 1-7, the holster 14 is preferably a generally rigid box-like structure having a first side wall 28, a second side wall 30, a first end wall 32, a second end wall 34, and a base 36. The holster 14 has an open top 38 and is sized and shaped to receive the pepper spray canister 12 through the open top 38. The holster 14 is preferably formed from a lightweight high strength material such as an impact resistant polymeric material, such as the polymeric material sold under the registered trademark LEXAN® but it could be made of any other suitable material. The holster 14 is preferably formed used conventional manufacturing techniques such as injection molding but it could be made using some other technique, if desired.

As shown in FIG. 3, a biasing mechanism, in the present embodiment a canister spring 40, such as a coil spring, is attached to an interior surface of the base 36 by a fastener such as a spring rivet 42. Alternatively, the canister spring 40 could be held in place in some other manner such as by an interference fit with an element (not shown) extending from the base 36. For example, a cup-like structure (not shown), having a rim sized and shaped to retain the spring 40 within the cup-like structure could be provided. A first or distal end of the canister spring 40 extends freely upwardly from the base 36, and as is described in more detail below, engages the bottom 20 of the canister 12 to exert a biasing force on the canister 12 which moves the canister 12 upwardly.

With particular reference to FIG. 7, the holster 14 includes a trigger assembly 26 which includes a trigger 44 pivotally attached to the holster 14 for pivotal movement between a latching position 46 (see FIG. 3) and a release position 46a (shown in phantom on FIG. 5). The trigger assembly 26 also includes a trigger spring 48 which biases the trigger 44 into the latching position 46. As discussed further below, in the release position 46a, the trigger 44 does not restrain the canister 12, and the canister spring 40 operates to eject the canister 12 from the holster 14.

With particular reference to FIG. 8, the trigger 44 is preferably a one-piece member having a first end 50, a second end 52, a first face 54, and a second face 56 (see FIG. 7). Intermediate the first and second ends 50, 52, is a pivot pin hole 58, sized to receive a pivot pin 60 (see FIG. 10). The pivot pin 60 extends through the pivot pin hole 58 and into suitable aligned openings within the side walls 28, 30 to pivotally attach the trigger 44 to the holster 14. The trigger 44 further includes a retaining ledge 62 proximate to the second end 52 and a recess 64 adjacent to the retaining ledge 62. Operation of the retaining ledge 62 and recess 64 is described below.

With particular reference to FIG. 9, in the present embodiment, the trigger spring 48 is generally U or V-shaped and is preferably formed of an elastically resilient metal, such as spring steel. Alternatively, other conventional biasing members of various other shapes and/or materials could be substituted for the trigger spring 48. The trigger spring 48 includes a first leg 66 and a second leg 68. A rivet hole 70 is provided in the first leg 66, allowing the trigger spring 48 to be secured to the holster 14 with a trigger rivet 72 (see FIG. 5). The trigger spring 48 is shown to have a coiled portion at a terminal end 74 of the second leg 68. Alternatively, the terminal end 74 of the second leg 68 could be substantially flat, with a chamfered end or could have some other configuration to permit the terminal end of the second leg 68 to slide easily along the first trigger face 54 in the manner described below.

With particular reference to FIGS. 3 and 5, the trigger 44 is biased into the latching position 46 by the trigger spring 48. Preferably, as illustrated in FIG. 5, the terminal end 74 of the second leg 68 engages the second face 56 of the trigger 44, thus urging the trigger 44 into the latching position 46. Alternatively, the terminal end 74 of the second leg 68 could engage the first face 54 of the trigger 44 proximate the recess 64, as illustrated in both FIGS. 3 and 5. The trigger 44 is preferably located on the inside of the first end wall 32 or the second end wall 34 such that the trigger 44 is not likely to be unintentionally depressed while allowing the user to conveniently use a thumb or index finger of the hand receiving the canister 12 to press the first end 50 of the trigger 44 to the release position for ejection of the canister 12 into the hand of the user.

With particular reference now to FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7, the belt clip assembly 16 includes a belt clip body 76, shaped generally as an elongated cylinder having elongated flattened side walls and rounded end walls to define a central belt receiving opening 78. The central opening 78 is sized and shaped to receive a belt (not shown) worn by the user. The belt clip assembly 16 may be tightened firmly against the user's belt by a belt tensioner 80, which is positioned within the central opening 78 by tightening a pair of tensioning screws 82. The belt clip body 76 is attached to a side wall 28 or 30 of the holster 14 by one or more belt clip fasteners 84 or in some other manner. The fasteners 84 are preferably threaded screws and nuts. Other conventional fasteners, such as rivets, could also be used. Removable fasteners are preferable, allowing the holster 14 to be positioned on either side of the belt clip 16, accommodating either left handed or right handed users. Access holes 86 extending through the belt clip body 76 provide access for installation of the belt clip fasteners 84. Additionally, snap fit or slide fit belt clip bodies 76 as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 may be utilized.

Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, additional embodiments of a pepper spray canister holster assembly 10a, 10b without belt clip fasteners 84 are shown. Rather than being held to the holster 14 by belt clip fasteners 84, the belt clip body 76 may be slid over the holster 14. The belt clip bodies 17a and 17b are removably attached, such as a snap fit engagement, to the holster 14 and may be easily removed and orientated to adapt to left and right handed users. The pepper spray canister holster assemblies 10a and 10b also differ from the preferred embodiment 10 in that the belt clip assemblies 17a and 17b include a removal side wall 88, that allows for the holster and pepper spray assembly 10a and 10b to be removed from a belt (not shown) without removal of the belt from the user. The removable side wall 88 allows for the holster and pepper spray assembly 10a and 10b to be quickly and easily removed from a belt and also allows for the belt assembly 16 to fit a variety of belt sizes and configurations.

The belt clip body 76 is preferably formed from the same polymeric material used to form the holster 14, using conventional manufacturing techniques such as injecting molding. The belt clip body 76 could be formed from other materials using other manufacturing techniques if desired. In use, the pepper spray canister assembly 10, 10a, 10b is mounted to the user's belt (not shown), and appropriately secured using the belt tensioner 80 or removal side wall 88.

Without the pepper spray canister 12 installed in the holster 14 (as shown in FIG. 7), the canister spring 40 is fully extended, and the trigger 44 is biased into the latching position 46 by the trigger spring 48. The user may install a pepper spray canister 12, by pushing the canister 12 bottom side 20 down through the top opening 38 and downwardly into the holster 14 against the bias of the canister spring 40 until the canister retaining protrusion 24 engages the retaining ledge 62 of the trigger 44 so that a portion of the retaining protrusion 24 is received within and is captured by the trigger recess 64 to thereby lock the canister 12 in place within the holster 14. With the canister 12 locked into engagement with the trigger 44, the canister spring 40 is compressed, the canister spring 40 thus exerting a force on the canister bottom 20 tending to expel the canister 12 from the holster 14. The force of the canister spring 40 is resisted and overcome by an opposing force exerted on the canister 12 by the trigger retaining ledge 62.

When the user wishes to remove the canister 12 from the holster 14, the user pushes inwardly on the first trigger end 50 against the bias of the trigger spring 48 thereby rotating the trigger 44 about the pin 60 from the latching position 46 into a release position 46a. As the trigger 44 rotates, the trigger retaining ledge 62 is moved out of engagement with the canister retaining protrusion 24, allowing the force of the compressed canister spring 40 to eject or push the canister 12 upwardly so that at least a portion of the canister 12 extends out of the holster 14.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the preferred embodiment of the pepper spray canister holster assembly 10 described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present application.