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Is it Legal for Civilians to Purchase Body Armor?

May. 27, 2024

Is it Legal for Civilians to Purchase Body Armor?

Is it legal for civilians to purchase body armor?  

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Body armor is a safety product. It is legal in all 50 states for law abiding civilians to purchase body armor. You have the right to protect yourself and your family from harm. As a citizen of the United States you have the legal right to purchase and wear body armor for personal or professional use. 

Body Armor does not require any special paperwork or background checks. It is YOUR responsibility to determine if YOU are LEGALLY able to purchase and use body armor in your state.  

Who Cannot Buy Body Armor Legally? 

Convicted felons surrender their right to own body armor legally pursuant to (18 U.S.C. 931). However, felons can purchase bulletproof vests if their employer requires it and they get written permission to do so. It is the responsibility of the felon to refrain from buying body armor. They can be prosecuted if they make an illegal purchase. Retailers are not liable for what happens to body armor after it is sold.  

Different States have Different Rules for Buying Body Armor Legally 

Depending on where you live, different states have different regulations for civilians who want to buy body armor.  For example, it is legal for civilians in Connecticut to buy body armor, but it must to be done by a face-to-face transaction. There are exceptions to the Connecticut law for police departments, and other public officials. Please call one of our sales representatives for more information.  

Other Rules for Civilians to Buy Body Armor Legally 

There are other rules to consider when civilians look to buy personal body armor protection.  You cannot ship or bring body armor outside the United States without Federal permission, for example.  In many states it is also illegal to wear body armor while committing a crime. Doing so will result in more and harsher legal charges.  

Below we&#;ve provided some helpful information about current state laws for civilians to purchase body armor legally.  This information provided is current to the best of our knowledge as of the publishing of this article. It can change at any time. This information should NOT be interpreted as legal advice. You should contact a licensed attorney in your state, local government or law enforcement agency for the most current regulations in your area for civilians to purchase body armor legally.  

Alabama

 

Alabama does not have any additional laws for civilians to purchase body armor legally. In Alabama, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest legally, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or in person. 

Alaska

 

In Alaska, civilians can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face by civilians legally. 

Arizona

 

Like many states, Arizona has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a crime. This does not affect body armor retailers. 

Arkansas

 

In Arkansas, it is a Class A Misdemeanor to possess body armor if you have been convicted of murder, manslaughter, aggravated robbery, assault, or battery, and this law does not affect body armor retailers. 

In any other case, civilians can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

California

 

In California, civilians can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Colorado

 

In Colorado, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Connecticut

 

Of all the states, Connecticut has the toughest law on body armor, prohibiting residents from buying or selling body armor except through a face-to-face sale. Online retailers cannot market and sell to Connecticut residents. 

In Connecticut, it is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both, to sell or deliver body armor unless the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the sale or delivery. 

The law exempts sales or deliveries to: 

  1. authorized officials or sworn members of local police departments, the State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Department of Correction, or the Board or Pardons or Parole;

     

  2. authorized municipal or Department of Administrative Services&#; officials who buy body armor for the above agencies;

     

  3. authorized Judicial Branch officials who buy body armor for probation officers;

     

  4. members of the National Guard or armed forces (CGS § 53-341b).

     

Delaware

 

Delaware has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a crime. This does not affect body armor retailers. 

Florida

 

Florida has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a crime, and, and this does not affect body armor retailers. 

In Florida, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Georgia

 

Georgia has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a violent crime, or while trafficking drugs. This does not affect body armor retailers. 

In Georgia, civilians can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Hawaii

 

In Hawaii, all civilians can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Idaho

 

In Idaho, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Illinois

 

Illinois does not have any additional body armor laws pertaining to retailers. In Illinois, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

However, it is illegal to for individuals to wear body armor while in possession of a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, during the commission or attempted commission of any offense. Unlawful use of body armor is a Class A misdemeanor. 

Indiana

 

In Indiana, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or in person. 

A person who knowingly or intentionally uses body armor while committing a felony commits unlawful use of body armor, a Class D felony (up until July , when a new law takes effect). The new law states that a person who knowingly or intentionally uses body armor while committing a felony commits unlawful use of body armor, a Level 6 felony. Again, this law effects criminals, not retailers. 

Iowa

 

In Iowa, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Kansas

 

In the city of Topeka, Kansas, it is illegal to possess, carry or wear a bulletproof vest during protests, parades, rallies, assemblies and demonstrations. This statute does not affect retailers. 

In Kansas, civilians can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or in person. 

Kentucky

 

In Kentucky, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Louisiana

 

Louisiana has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a crime or on school property. This does not affect body armor retailers. In Louisiana, any adult can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

It is illegal to wear body armor on the premises of a school 

Maine

 

In Maine, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless they have have been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Maryland

 

Maryland law mandates that all civilians with a prior conviction for a crime of violence, or a drug trafficking crime, are prohibited from using, possessing, or purchasing bulletproof body armor without a permit issued by the Secretary of the Maryland State Police. 

A civilian with a prior conviction for a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime may file, for good cause shown, a petition with the Secretary for a permit to use, possess, and purchase bulletproof body armor. 

Massachusetts

 

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Massachusetts has a law in place that makes it a felony to wear body armor during the commission of a crime. In Massachusetts, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Michigan

 

In Michigan, any civilian of age can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that civilian has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

In Michigan, an individual who commits or attempts to commit a crime that involves a violent act or a threat of a violent act against another person while wearing body armor is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years, or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both. This is not applying to state officers and security officers performing their duties while on or off a scheduled work shift. 

Minnesota

 

In Minnesota, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Mississippi

 

In Mississippi, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Missouri

 

In Missouri, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Montana

 

In Montana, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Nebraska

 

In Nebraska, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Nevada

 

In Nevada, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

New Hampshire

 

New Hampshire has laws in place that make committing a crime while wearing a bulletproof vest a felony, but does not have laws in place that prohibit sales of bulletproof vests by retailers. 

A person is guilty of a class B felony if he commits or attempts to commit any felony while using or wearing body armor. 

New Jersey

 

In New Jersey, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Additionally, in New Jersey, a civilian can be charged separately for wearing a bullet proof vest while carrying out criminal acts. The practical effect is more jail time and fines. Separate penalties have a wide range depending on the seriousness of the underlying crime. 

New Mexico

 

In New Mexico, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

New York

 

Effective July 6, , when not being engaged or employed in an eligible profession, the purchase, taking possession of, sale, exchange, giving or disposing of body armor is prohibited.  People engaged or employed in eligible professions include:

  1. Police officers;
  2. Peace officers;
  3. Persons in military service in NYS or military or other service for the United States; and
  4. Such other professions designated by the Department of State in accordance with section 144-a of the Executive Law.

The Department of State has been charged with developing rules and regulations to establish:

  • criteria for eligible professions requiring the use of body armor;
  • a process by which an individual or entity may request that the profession in which they engage be added to the list of eligible professions;
  • a process for the Department of State to determine such requests; and
  • a process by which individuals and entities may present proof of engagement in an eligible profession when purchasing body armor.

North Carolina

 

North Carolina has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a crime. This does not affect body armor retailers. In North Carolina, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

North Dakota

 

In North Dakota, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Ohio

 

Ohio does not have any additional body armor laws. In Ohio, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Oklahoma

 

Oklahoma has a law in place that makes it a felony to wear body armor during the commission of a crime. This does not affect body armor retailers. In Oklahoma, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Oregon

 

In Oregon, anyone can purchase and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Pennsylvania

 

Pennsylvania does not have any additional body armor laws. In Pennsylvania, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Rhode Island

 

In Rhode Island, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor and bulletproof vests, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

In , Rhode Island&#;s General Assembly passed a bill that forbids anyone convicted of a felony that is a crime of violence from buying or possessing body armor. This does not affect retailers of bullet proof vests. 

South Carolina

 

South Carolina has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a crime. This does not affect body armor retailers. In South Carolina, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

South Dakota

 

In South Dakota, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Tennessee

 

Tennessee also has a law in place that makes it illegal to wear body armor during the commission of a crime. The unlawful wearing of a vest is a Class E felony. This does not affect body armor retailers. In Tennessee, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest legally, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Texas

 

In Texas, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Utah

 

In Utah, civilians can purchase body armor legally and use a bulletproof vest, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Vermont

 

Vermont does not have any additional body armor laws. In Vermont, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Virginia

 

Virginia has one additional body armor law, like many states: Any person who, while committing a crime of violence or a felony violation, has in his possession a firearm or knife and is wearing body armor designed to diminish the effect of the impact of a bullet or projectile, shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony. This law does not affect retailers. 

In Virginia, it is legal for civilians to purchase body armor, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Washington State

 

In Washington, civilians can purchase body armor legally, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

West Virginia

 

In West Virginia, it is illegal for a civilian to wear body armor while committing a felony, an element of which is force, the threat of force, physical harm to another or the use or presentment of a firearm or other deadly weapon. This does not affect body armor retailers. 

In West Virginia, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest legally, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

Wisconsin

 

In Wisconsin, any civilian can purchase and use a bulletproof vest legally, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face. 

In Wisconsin, regulations also state donning a bulletproof vest during a felony or attempted felony can lead to an additional felony conviction, or added years to the final prison sentence. This law affects certain individuals who might purchase and wear bulletproof vests but does not affect retailers. 

Wyoming

 

In Wyoming, any civilians can purchase and use a bulletproof vest legally, unless he or she has been convicted of a felony. Bulletproof vests and all other body armor can be legally purchased both online or face-to-face.

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