1. #1
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    Civilian Bullet Proof Vests

    I've seen on a few manufacturer websites information talking about civilians owning bullet proof vests. I had always believed that civilians were prohibited from owning them. My question for you is twofold.
    1. Is it legal for a regular civilian to get a bullet proof vest?
    2. If yes, what manufacturers would you go for or say to stay away from (I had heard that Dragon Skin is the best out there)? On a side note, I don't really have a need to get a vest, and I'm probably not going to get one, I just want to know more.
    Thank you officers.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaryq
    I've seen on a few manufacturer websites information talking about civilians owning bullet proof vests. I had always believed that civilians were prohibited from owning them. My question for you is twofold.
    1. Is it legal for a regular civilian to get a bullet proof vest?
    2. If yes, what manufacturers would you go for or say to stay away from (I had heard that Dragon Skin is the best out there)? On a side note, I don't really have a need to get a vest, and I'm probably not going to get one, I just want to know more.
    Thank you officers.
    Whether or not you can own body armor depends on the laws in your state. Most states have no prohibitions on ownership or even wear of body armor, but many do have an enhancement to criminal penalities if the crime is committed while wearing body armor. You need to check on the laws in your state to get the specifics.

    As to which brand is best, this is a personal decision, much like that involved in the purchase of any other garment. The ballistic properties (what kinds of projectiles a vest will stop) are established through an NIJ standard that rates the vest, e.g. Level II, Level IIA, Level III, etc. (Level IIA is the most common type worn by uniformed officers). Beyond that, it's a question of which brand feels most comfortable. We all have different shapes and sizes, and each brand is constructed differently.

    There was a problem with Zylon vests a couple of years back, but all of those are off the market now. The ballistic materials used in 99% of the vests sold are made of Kevlar (DuPont), Spectra (Allied Chemical, or whoever has bought them), Twaron (Teijin Twaron), or Dyneema (Dyneema).
    Tim Dees, now writing as a plain old forum member, his superpowers lost to an encounter with gold kryptonite.

  3. #3
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    Some states may make it a crime for convicted felons to wear body armor.

    Dragon Skin the best? They sure have the best PR agents, but some informed folks have serious doubts about whether it lives up to the legend. Check over at www.10-8forums.com and search for the Dragon Skin thread. I just got a IIIA vest from Paraclete and it fits and feels just fine, but ask me again what I think of it when the temp goes over 90. I also have a Tactical Assault Gear plate carrier with Level IV standalone plates that will stop .30-06 armor piercing bullets, but it is NOT concealable except maybe under a sweatshirt, and weighs about 20 pounds, so it only comes out on very special occasions.
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  4. #4
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    TN has enhanced sanctions for anyone wearing body armor while committing certain crimes.

    39-17-1323. Commission of certain offenses while wearing a body vest. -

    (a) A person commits an offense who knowingly wears a body vest, when acting either alone or with one (1) or more other persons, while committing:

    (1) Any felony whose statutory elements involve the use or threat of violence to a human being;

    (2) Any burglary, car-jacking, theft of a motor vehicle, or arson; or

    (3) Any felony offense involving a controlled substance.

    (b) For purposes of this section, a “body vest” means a bullet-resistant soft armor providing, as a minimum standard, the level of protection known as threat level I which shall mean at least seven (7) layers of bullet-resistant material providing protection from three (3) shots of one hundred fifty-eight-grain lead ammunition fired from a .38 caliber handgun at a velocity of eight hundred fifty feet (850") per second.

    (c) The unlawful wearing of a body vest is a Class E felony.

    (d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the possession of a body vest for lawful purposes.

    (e) Any sentence imposed under this section shall run consecutively to any other sentence imposed for the conviction of the underlying offense.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

  5. #5
    Banned

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    1. Is it legal for a regular civilian to get a bullet proof vest?
    Probably, since most cops are "regular civilians"...

  6. #6
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    Civilian Body Armor

    Alabama has no current prohibition concerning civilian use of body armor. It's very possible though, that a manufacturor or law enforcement supply firm would have a policy against non-law enforcement sales.

  7. #7
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    Michigan has no law regulating body armor sales or possession. I think (but would have to look up) that there is a section of our law that criminalizes the act of wearing of body armor while committing a crime.

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