Is it legal to own body armor in the U.S.?
Yes, for the time being, it is widely legal to wear and purchase body armor. As long as you are a U.S. citizen living in the country and a non-felon (some felonies disqualify), you can own body armor.
I say ‘for the time being’ because congressional bill H.R.378 has just been introduced (JAN-2015) by three democrats who are proposing to ban certain body armor nationwide (level III or better), except of course for themselves, govt agencies and ‘officials’ – and the police.
Current prohibition: Residents of Connecticut are prohibited from buying body armor.
Here’s more on the proposed congressional ban which may affect many of you who perhaps wear body armor for safety while at the gun range (or for any of the other logical reasons as listed below).
The information below that is a re-post from an earlier article in which I described the various types (levels) of body armor. Curious to hear from you on the proposed ban, as well as your experiences/recommendations regarding body armor. I have a feeling there’s going to be a run on body armor…
Mac Slavo of SHTFplan.com recently reports:
Nationwide Ban On Personal Body Armor Proposed In Congress: “10 Years Imprisonment” For Possession
In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting politicians from coast-to-coast attempted to push through legislation that would ban a host of guns, magazines and accessories. Though their efforts failed for the most part, those who would take away our ability to defend ourselves always have another tyrannical card up their sleeves.
The latest efforts to attack personal defense as a natural birthright comes from distinguished Congressional representatives Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Danny Davis (D-IL) and takes aim not at your ability to possess a firearm, but rather, to protect yourself from criminals who own them.
HR 378, dubbed the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act, would make it illegal for civilians to own “enhanced body armor” such as helmets, shields or armor plates that meet or exceed Type III protection. The bill would exempt law enforcement officers and other government officials.
The co-sponsors of the bill believe body armor in the hands of private citizens to be so dangerous that they intend to impose a 10 year federal prison sentence on those found to be in possession of the contraband.
The new law would still allow Americans to own Type I and Type II protection, which are designed to stop calibers ranging from .22 caliber to .357 Magnum respectively. Type III body armor is designed to stop higher velocity hand gun rounds like a high-velocity 9mm or .44 magnum and rifle rounds like the AK-47′s 7.62x39mm. Type IV, often reserved for special law enforcement response teams, is capable of stopping even armor piercing rounds from rifles.
Should such a law be passed, Americans would no longer have the ability to determine for themselves which type of body armor is best suited for their needs. Instead, we would be limited to protection from only a handful of calibers. And, as we well know, as soon as criminals with ill intent get wind that their victims probably won’t own body armor that’s able to stop a .44 or high velocity 9mm round, they’ll quickly switch to new weapons capable of ripping through “legal” protection.
Who can buy body armor
It is your responsibility to do due-diligence regarding body armor transactions conforming to U.S. and Federal, State and Local Statutes, Codes, and Ordinances and your local laws and regulations.
Unless you live in Connecticut, it is generally the case that law-abiding citizens are legally allowed to purchase and wear body armor.
When purchasing body armor, a background or criminal history is NOT run on the individual buying the body armor. That means that it is your responsibility to be sure that you are legally allowed to purchase body armor. If you are caught with body armor and have a felony criminal record (certain felonies prohibit ownership of body armor), you will be held responsible for owning the body armor and will have to accept any and all consequences. Just saying…
Types of body armor
Kevlar provides exceptional protection to ballistic threats. Worn regularly by a diverse range of individuals, vests of this material can stop a variety of bullets- from shotgun, to .44 magnum rounds.
Laminated Kevlar provides additional protection by also being stab and spike resistant against improvised weapons such as knives, shanks, and stabbing attacks with things like tools or broken bottles, etc.
Ballistic plates… ceramic, polyethylene, or steel body armor plates fitted in plate carrier vests can offer the highest protection including rifle rounds.
Not all body armor offers the same protection, and it is important to remember that nothing is entirely “bulletproof”. There will always be great danger in these types of situations.
Having said that, generally, a highly recommended level of armor protection is “Level IIIa” or even better — “Level III (hard body armor)”.
Level III body armor is designed to protect against rifle calibers up to 7.62×51 or .308 Winchester at a velocity of 2780 ft/s, as well as all lower level calibers.
Levels of body armor
All body armor products are categorized into one of six levels.
Protection begins at Level I which offers the least amount of protection and increases to Level IV which offers the most amount of protection.
(.22 LR; .380 ACP)
(9 mm; .40 S&W; .45 ACP)
(9 mm; .357 Magnum)
(.357 SIG; .44 Magnum)
(Rifles, e.g. 7.62×51mm NATO M80 ball)
(Armor Piercing Rifle, e.g. .30-06 M2 (AP) Springfield)
Who uses body armor?
Obviously anyone who chooses to protect them-self from this risk because of their concern that at some point they may be in a potentially dangerous environment. An increasing number of ordinary citizens are considering their security for a SHTF collapse scenario where social-chaos may one day rule the streets.
Store owners (e.g. jewelry stores, etc..)
Safety at gun ranges