Is it Legal to Own Body Armor

Is it Legal to Own Body Armor

With rumors circling the body armor armor community here are the facts. It is NOT illegal to own body armor or similar items such as bulletproof or spike rated vests. But there is a catch. It is legal for most people to buy in face to face transactions. No ID, no background check, No special record keeping, no ATF, nothing of that sort. Body armor can also be sold over the counter and at gun shows or online ( It can be shipped  in 49 states. With ONLY residents of Connecticut being the exception by requiring it citizens to make the purchase in person.

However when it comes to international sales and shipping it becomes a little difficult. Body Armor CANNOT be shipped, taken or purchased outside The United States without federal permission

Here is the exclusion from "most people." Convicted felons cannot own, or even possess any type of body armor they surrendered that right under 18 U.S.C. 931 unless of course they have written permission from an employer who requires it as a condition of employment. 

Also Retailers are under no liability for what happens to the person or the body armor after it is sold.



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Kevin is 100% correct. If they are knowingly selling equipment that they know will not measure up to what they sold it for they can be held accountable.

To answer the 2nd part Jeffrey, No. Steel plates do not expire as fast as Kevlar. It’s the industry standard to only provide a 5 year warranty but steel will still be effective after 5 years unlike Kevlar which begins to degrade at 5 years.

George H Holt

No retailer can be held responsuble for a product sold in good faith. Only Negligent behavior is actionable. Selling outdated armour on purpose without stating it or making reference to it being only for show would be considered negligent behavior.

Nothing made by man is perfect. Also Ballistics, ammunition characteristics, material endurance, and other factors change with time, scientific discovery, weather and external conditions, including exposure to water and chemicals either through air or directly can severely affect your body armour.

Please remember body armor is a precautionary measure that is imperfect and not a guaranteed device that ensures life protection in any and all environmentalists. It cam work and you can still die from trauma and shock from impact.

Body armor is not equivalent to ducking or cover.

Kevin C Jones

The problem I have is that they are not under any liability. Anyone purchasing any product, expects said product to do as stated. If I purchase body armor with the intention of saving my life or others wearing it. If it doesn’t perform to the standards stated- I feel that they should be held accountable. Another side question does steel plate armor have an expiration the same as soft armor? If no one is accountable what stops people from selling out dated, or non performing body armor?

Jeffrey S Smith

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