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View Full Version : Legality of ballstic body armor plates for civilians?



Kak
07-25-2007, 05:31 AM
I know regular "soft armor" is legal for non-felons, but what about the plates? I see them for sale online, on ebay for example, and it I've never seen anything mentioned about the legality or any restrictions on them, but someone told a guy I know who has some that non-Military/Law Enforcement can't have them and he needs to get rid of them.

Is this true and can someone provide me with a link to a government website that states what the law is? I don't want my friend to have to get rid of them if they are legal to have, I want to help him out. This is in Michigan, USA.

I'd REALLY appreciate some help on this guys, thanks in advance! :hug:

velvet-cream
07-25-2007, 05:45 AM
Don't know about hard plates in general, but some plates such as SAPI sold to the US military are restricted.


8. The SAPIs offered for sale by defendant ST. CLARENCE D. AVERY
were manufactured pursuant to a contract awarded by the Defense Logistics Agency. The SAPIs were lightweight body armor designed to be used with the OTVs to provide greater protection against assault rifle ammunition, and could be legally possessed and used only by the United States military. They were not permitted to be sold to the public as surplus equipment.


http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/pae/News/Pr/2004/dec/avery.pdf

Herrmannek
07-25-2007, 06:14 AM
I bet anything having "US property" on them is out of law and anything you bought from shop and got producer's warranty card with it is good to go... No website, just what I've read. Some civilian wests have ballistic inserts too, there was even a case when prep had few of them stacked, and after cop tested the mix it was proven it stopped rifle round no problem...

Jippo
07-25-2007, 06:20 AM
In U.S. or somewhere else? In lot of European countries soft and hard armor are perfectly ok to own for civilians.

kamarian
07-25-2007, 06:28 AM
In australia it is illegal to own any form of body armour unless you are ADF, police or security

Kak
07-25-2007, 08:36 AM
Oh oops, I forgot to mention this is for Michigan, USA

WarriorMonk
07-25-2007, 08:36 AM
I've known paramedics who have body armor, usually they are in high crime areas or are actually tactical EMS personnel

Mr. JOSHUA
07-25-2007, 10:59 AM
http://www.usabodyarmor.com/index.htm

http://www.bodyarmornews.com/

Hope this helps.

Just know this though, your putting this question in a public venue, where the gumment watches aswell, though it may not be illegal, the gumment may still be wondering why a civilian needs body armor.

Institutionalized
07-25-2007, 12:04 PM
I don't understand why civilians cannot have hard plates. Can anyone clarify?

Herrmannek
07-25-2007, 01:05 PM
I don't understand why civilians cannot have hard plates. Can anyone clarify?

Because its illegal for your armor to have hard on in public :)

PvtPyle
07-25-2007, 07:23 PM
There are states in the US that do not allow civilians to own armor. It is not generally illegal for civilians to own hard plates, they just can't own MILITARY or US Property stamped plates. I sell many of the SAPI plates, they just have a different tag on them from Point Blank. Same plate composition, different production run, different contract.

There are other options out there now that are actually an improvement over the old SAPI style. The TAP 443 it a plate composed of soft trauma plates layered and bolded together and held firm by a thin steel plate. They weigh just a hair over a pound and will stop 308 AP.

Check with your state DOJ for civilian ownership.

Chulo
07-26-2007, 12:51 AM
I don't understand why civilians cannot have hard plates. Can anyone clarify?
two words : the "hollywood shootout"

Jippo
07-26-2007, 01:40 AM
Then again: how many cops did they kill with those armor plates? That's twisted logic.

In here you get guns if you REALLY need them, and you go through shallow background check by the police every time you apply for a new gun. But the most important thing is you get the gun if you can show the need (and aren't a criminal).

Then again armor of all sorts you can just pick up in a shop. To me this kind of division is much more logical.

Chulo
07-26-2007, 02:32 AM
Then again: how many cops did they kill with those armor plates? That's twisted logic.

In here you get guns if you REALLY need them, and you go through shallow background check by the police every time you apply for a new gun. But the most important thing is you get the gun if you can show the need (and aren't a criminal).

Then again armor of all sorts you can just pick up in a shop. To me this kind of division is much more logical.
how many cops did it take to kill them would be the right question. Their armor defeated standared issued police rounds, and that is a problem when the cops cant address an issue like that.

Jippo
07-26-2007, 03:19 AM
Bodyarmor isn't magic trick that makes one invulnerable. It is still relatively easy to kill or disable a person wearing bodyarmor. Even the best body armor covers only about 35-40% of a persons body. And ballistic plates that can defeat rifle rounds even less than that. Having top protection like that on your body will put some 12-15kg weight on you slowing you down. Add a gun and ammo and you will be carrying over 20kg of extra weight on you.

What about investing to cop training or equipment, gun laws (hey they wouldn't even been to the place without guns), crime prevention, ... really what ever. But it is pretty twisted that it is possible to have a CCW that is potentially an offensive weapon capable of harming everyone around you, but no passive protection from other people's weapons.

You know, body armor even increases your chances in car crashes etc..

Mk23
07-26-2007, 03:20 AM
Anything that's US Government property is illegal to own.

But many companies make identical products that the military or government agencies haven't already paid for, and those are marked differently, and they are legal to own.


I like to use the analogy of race cars.

Say a car company makes a car for racing. It's a race car, pure and simple, so an example isn't even submitted for safety tests, and therefore in the USA it's not street legal.

The same company then makes an identical car, gives it a different name, and paints it in normal colors. This car is sent to be tested, and is subsequently approved as street legal.


The race car is still illegal, the identical car with a different name is legal.

Niels
07-26-2007, 11:07 AM
yes it was the bad training and equipment that made it so hard to kill these two guys
It was actually. If I remember correctly, the police officers had to run to the nearest gunshop to get a couple of ARs, because all they had were shotties and 9mm pistols.

Besides, if rare occurrences such as that one shoot-out are the reason for banning armour plates, then they might as well ban the guns that made the police have to shoot them in the first place.

orange
07-26-2007, 04:28 PM
...
Besides, if rare occurrences such as that one shoot-out are the reason for banning armour plates, then they might as well ban the guns that made the police have to shoot them in the first place.
Quoted for truth!

Pook2
07-26-2007, 04:34 PM
It was actually. If I remember correctly, the police officers had to run to the nearest gunshop to get a couple of ARs, because all they had were shotties and 9mm pistols.

Besides, if rare occurrences such as that one shoot-out are the reason for banning armour plates, then they might as well ban the guns that made the police have to shoot them in the first place.

Which California did, and still does. The weapons they used were banned then, but they got them anyway.

PvtPyle
07-26-2007, 05:21 PM
In reality the guns they used were banned all across the US since 1986. The guns in question were illegal machineguns. It has been illegal to manufacutre machineguns for civilian consumption since then.

schwarz
07-26-2007, 05:30 PM
yes it was the bad training and equipment that made it so hard to kill these two guys

FYI for everyone they were covered in body armor from head to toe not just vitals. Hard and soft armor.

And just because something is illegal doesnt mean you cant get it. Where there is a will there is a way especially in the US.

Grumpy Bastard
07-26-2007, 10:11 PM
Clearly body armour is required in the US for making bank withdraws or possibly crossing a Wal-Mart carpark.

schwarz
07-26-2007, 10:16 PM
Clearly body armour is required in the US for making bank withdraws


You could say that in so many words.

Waterman
07-27-2007, 12:50 AM
Especially if you do not happen to have an account at the bank you are making the withdrawl at.....LOL.

Jippo
07-27-2007, 02:45 AM
FYI for everyone they were covered in body armor from head to toe not just vitals. Hard and soft armor.

Show me rifle proof armor that covers a person from head to toe.

And I will show you person who is able to carry it (not).

Normal helmet is able to stop 9mm round (IIIA), not rifle rounds. I also doubt that the criminals had ballistic viziers to their helmets if they had them. Normal softarmor is the same class (IIIA), whilst additional 10x12 inch(25x30cm) plates upgrade that to the IV which is rifle AP proof. But the plates aren't any bigger the mentioned 10x12in, and depending on the type they can't take more than one hit in one place.

Soft armor is able to protect the torso from pistol fire not rifle, and the plates leave large areas of the body unprotected. Including arteries in your neck, armpits and lower abdomin area. Head remains virtually unprotected against rifle fire as do the legs and the arms. There is no rifle proof protection availabe for the latter two as far as I know.

So head to toe protection is not very likely.

schwarz
07-27-2007, 08:35 AM
Show me rifle proof armor that covers a person from head to toe.

And I will show you person who is able to carry it (not).

Normal helmet is able to stop 9mm round (IIIA), not rifle rounds. I also doubt that the criminals had ballistic viziers to their helmets if they had them. Normal softarmor is the same class (IIIA), whilst additional 10x12 inch(25x30cm) plates upgrade that to the IV which is rifle AP proof. But the plates aren't any bigger the mentioned 10x12in, and depending on the type they can't take more than one hit in one place.

Soft armor is able to protect the torso from pistol fire not rifle, and the plates leave large areas of the body unprotected. Including arteries in your neck, armpits and lower abdomin area. Head remains virtually unprotected against rifle fire as do the legs and the arms. There is no rifle proof protection availabe for the latter two as far as I know.

So head to toe protection is not very likely.


Never said they could stop rifle rounds.

As far as the head to toe thing IIRC they sewed soft armor together kind of like a body suit. (not sure about their legs since one if the guys had his shins shot up)

Jippo
07-27-2007, 08:58 AM
Never said they could stop rifle rounds.



But I said earlier that a better alternative would be to invest in police equipment than to ban body armor. That translates in mind in buying them also quality weaponry with potential to deal with bodyarmor.

AR-15's in squad cars and much of the things that happened wouldn't have done so.

But that all is just treating the symptoms without curing the disease, as the underlying problems such crimes are far more deeply rooted. All I'm saying is that I haven't seen a convincing comment for banning body armor in this discussion. To me there would be more sense to ban something that enables criminals to pull out this kind of crimes, body armor isn't enabling but merely helping. They would have done the crime even without armor, but they wouldn't just have made it quite so far.

On the other hand body armor (esp light concealed vests) can help people to survive all sorts of violence they might face in their daily life. If I would bother carrying a piece I would surely bother putting on a vest first. In this part of the Europe e.g. lot of security personel, bouncers, even some taxi drivers etc. wear vests, but almost nobody except the police is carrying a gun. This is far more logical to me as a vest is "protection" in the pure meaning of the word, you only can use ballistic protection to protect. Whilst a lot more can be achieved with a gun, in both good and bad, and not all of that is "protection". Some of it can be described better with words like "assault", "manslaughter" & "murder".

Thus I see twisted logic in banning armor and allowing CCW. Vest worn would have helped many crime victims, you see.

Ps. just FYI I personally carry rifle plates whenever training with guns. I don't mind the weight vs. the extra protection. I look it a bit like taking an insurance in addition to "train as you fight" mindset.

schwarz
07-27-2007, 09:10 AM
You can ban everything under the sun and still be able to get it. A criminal is a criminal and they will break the law no matter what, if they are willing to rob a bank then what makes anyone think they wouldnt obtain a full auto weapon or ballistic plates.

After the "Hollywood shoot out" I believe squad cars got AR's in the LA area for just that reason.


Thus I see twisted logic in banning armor and allowing CCW. Vest worn would have helped many crime victims, you see.

I dont think soft armor is banned in the US. Also I dont think everyone is going to go around wearing a vest just incase someone attacks them knife, gun etc. though it would offer you some protection in those circumstances. If your in a area where there is a high chance that something like that could happen then maybe but if you dont spend a lot of time in places like that their is no need to wear a vest.

martinexsquaddie
07-27-2007, 01:06 PM
in the uk our neighbourhood wardens got stab vests don't actually wear them as they see them as too police like and thats not there job
only civi I ever met wore an old korean war flak vest on a demo in case the police started shooting?????
had great delight telling him how much use it would be:)
unless you in a high threat profession/situation wearing body armour would just be weird

Herrmannek
07-27-2007, 01:31 PM
in the uk our neighbourhood wardens got stab vests don't actually wear them as they see them as too police like and thats not there job
only civi I ever met wore an old korean war flak vest on a demo in case the police started shooting?????
had great delight telling him how much use it would be:)
unless you in a high threat profession/situation wearing body armour would just be weird

Luckily carrying gun isn't :)

PvtPyle
07-27-2007, 02:01 PM
Luckily carrying gun isn't :)


Not in the US it isn't. Luckily in free states the law abiding citizen has that option available to him. Here we can carry openly or concealed on the streets without fear of being hassled by law enforcement.

There are lots of jobs, places and situations where a civilian wearing body armor would be a wise thing. Rifle rated plates? Maybe not. After all the likely hood of some scumbag criminal shooting at you with a rifle are very small compaired to them using a handgun. But there is a significant market for it here in the US just the same.

MaverickCowboy
02-23-2009, 08:06 PM
SO, can people own Armor Plates?

LineDoggie
02-23-2009, 08:14 PM
Beats me, but I do know a friend of mine wears body armor at work and is a Civilian. He owns several Bodegas in NYC and has been robbed numerous times. He has no criminal record, but NYC still wont allow him a CCW permit, so he wears the vest in the hope he survives the robberies....

LongShot
02-23-2009, 08:42 PM
SO, can people own Armor Plates?


Check with your state(not all allow civilian ownership), but yes...some manufacturers will not sell to civilians, some will.

Mister_manji
02-23-2009, 09:25 PM
I would like to wear plates if, for instance, I was taking a tactical rifle class. Just as a safety precaution of course. I've seen rangemasters wearing soft armor, so the principle is the same.

MaverickCowboy
02-24-2009, 01:35 AM
does pointblank sell to civvies? and are they legal in Montana and Florida?

LongShot
02-24-2009, 09:12 AM
does pointblank sell to civvies? and are they legal in Montana and Florida?

I dont know for sure, you would have to go through one of their distributors...try www.galls.com (http://www.galls.com) or pick a distributor off point blanks distributor webpage (http://www.pointblankarmor.com/distributors.asp).

PG18
02-24-2009, 09:16 AM
SO, can people own Armor Plates?


yes.. i one time own LEVEL IV ARMOR PLATES made by Paraclete.p-)

and previous to that i have several SAPI plates.. but all gone now..p-)

Will Clark
02-24-2009, 04:23 PM
how many cops did it take to kill them would be the right question. Their armor defeated standared issued police rounds, and that is a problem when the cops cant address an issue like that.

1) They were felons IIRC, it was illegal for them to own the body armor and firearms.

2) One of them had been shot 19 times, PCP kept that from mattering.

Just like firearms, you shouldn't ban body armor based on what .02% of society might do with it.

Slouch
02-24-2009, 04:28 PM
In australia it is illegal to own any form of body armour unless you are ADF, police or security

It still is illegal for any ADF, police or security member to privately own body armour. The slight exception is with some qualified security members, but even then they don't own the armour, it belongs to the Company.

doctor rizz
02-25-2009, 02:30 PM
how many cops did they kill with those armor plates? That's twisted logic.

Surprisingl, not one cop was killed, only ones that died were the two robbers.

Jippo
02-25-2009, 02:36 PM
That was hardly the point of the comment.