Written by Bernie Carr
Not sure if you have heard about this interesting piece of news so I thought I’d just share it.
Proposed legislation to ban body armor
Yes, it’s true. An assemblyman in New York has proposed legislation to ban the possession or use of body armor for any citizens. They already have a law in the books that bans the use of body armor by criminals who committed a felony using a firearm.
Bill A352, goes much further. It seeks to completely ban individuals from possessing or purchasing body armor, except for law enforcement or individuals whose occupation requires their use.
What about people who already own body armor?
If the bill passes, anyone who owns body armor are given 15 days to turn them over to state law enforcement for disposition. If you don’t you will be guilty of a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class E felony for any subsequent offense.
Here is the actual wording of the bill from the NY State senate site:
§ 270.21 UNLAWFUL PURCHASE OR POSSESSION OF A BODY VEST. A PERSON IS GUILTY OF THE UNLAWFUL PURCHASE OR POSSESSION OF A BODY VEST WHEN HE OR SHE KNOWINGLY AND UNLAWFULLY PURCHASES OR POSSESSES A BODY VEST, AS SUCH TERM IS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION 270.20 OF THIS ARTICLE. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ACTIVE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OR THOSE WHOSE OCCUPATIONS REQUIRE THE USE OF BODY VESTS AS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE. UNLAWFUL PURCHASE OR POSSESSION OF A BODY VEST IS A CLASS A MISDEMEA- NOR FOR A FIRST OFFENSE AND A CLASS E FELONY FOR ANY SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE. § 2. Any person currently in possession of a body vest, as such term is defined in subdivision two of section 270.20 of the penal law, shall have 15 days from the effective date of this act to dispose of such body vest at any local or state law enforcement agency. § 3. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.
What are the current laws about body armor?
U.S. Federal law
Federal law does mention body armor:
According to United States Code: 18 U.S.C. § 931. Section 931 there is only one prohibition on the purchase, ownership, or possession of body armor. The law states that anyone who has been convicted of a violent felony (or its state equivalent) cannot purchase, own, or possess body armor. The law does have an exception:
- If the defendant has written certification from his or her employer that it is necessary for the safe performance of lawful business activity and
- The use and possession of the defendant are limited to performing the business activity
In essence, if you are not a felon convicted of a violent crime ( if you are but fit into the exception above), it is legal under the federal law to purchase, own, and possess body armor.
Most states mirror the federal law. There are a few exceptions:
- Connecticut: body armor can only be purchased face-to-face, and cannot be purchased online, by phone, or by mail.
- In New York, the bill to a ban on body armor for private citizens is being considered
- Kentucky: committing a crime while wearing or even possessing body armor is a crime.
- Louisiana, wearing body armor on school property is illegal.
What does this mean to you?
If you live in New York, then this piece of legislation is one to watch. Currently, comments from citizens are allowed on the government site. You should voice your opinion to your representatives.
Even if you don’t live in New York this is something that you should pay attention to, as states propose new bills all the time. Most importantly, before buying body armor, you should consult the laws in your own state.
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About the author:
Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.