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Body Armor Laws by State

Alabama
Alabama does not have any additional body armor laws. In Alabama, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or in person.

Alaska
In Alaska, civilians can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

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. This law does not affect body armor retailers.

In any other case, civilians can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

California
In California, civilians can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Colorado
In Colorado, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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:

  • authorized officials or sworn members of local police departments, the State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Department of Correction, or the Board of Pardons or Parole;
  • authorized municipal or Department of Administrative Services’ officials who buy body armor for the above agencies;
  • authorized Judicial Branch officials who buy body armor for probation officers;
  • 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. This does not affect body armor retailers.

In Florida, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

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

Idaho
In Idaho, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

However, it is illegal 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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 Level 6 felony. This does not affect body armor retailers.

Iowa
In Iowa, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 body armor during protests, parades, rallies, assemblies and demonstrations. This statute does not affect retailers.

In Kansas, civilians can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Kentucky
In Kentucky, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 body armor.

Massachusetts
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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Michigan
In Michigan, any civilian of age can purchase and use body armor, unless that civilian has been convicted of a felony. 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 does not apply 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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Mississippi
In Mississippi, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Missouri
In Missouri, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Montana
In Montana, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Nebraska
In Nebraska, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Nevada
In Nevada, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 body armor a felony, but does not have laws in place that prohibit sales of body armor by retailers.

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

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

Additionally, in New Jersey, a civilian can be charged separately for wearing body armor 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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

New York
In New York, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless that adult has been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

A civilian is guilty of the unlawful wearing of body armor when acting either alone or with one or more other persons, and commit violent felony offenses while possessing a firearm, rifle or shotgun and during and in furtherance of such crime they wear body armor. The unlawful wearing of body armor is a class E felony.

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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

North Dakota
In North Dakota, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Oregon
In Oregon, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania does not have any additional body armor laws. In Pennsylvania, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless that civilian has been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

In 2012, 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 body armor.

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, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

South Dakota
In South Dakota, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

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

Texas
In Texas, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Utah
In Utah, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Vermont
Vermont does not have any additional body armor laws. In Vermont, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. 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 their 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, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless that civilian has been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Washington
In Washington, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

West Virginia
In West Virginia, a civilian who wears or is otherwise equipped with body armor while committing a felony offense, 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, is guilty of a felony. This does not affect body armor retailers.

In West Virginia, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless that civilian has been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

Wisconsin
In Wisconsin, any civilian can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

In Wisconsin, donning body armor during a felony or attempted felony can lead to an additional felony conviction, or the adding of extra years to the final prison sentence. This law affects certain individuals who might wear body armor, but does not affect retailers.

Wyoming
In Wyoming, anyone can purchase and use body armor, unless they have been convicted of a felony. Body armor can be purchased online or face-to-face.

This list was written for general education purposes and is not intended for legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change at any time under the discretion of federal, state, and local jurisdiction.

RESOURCES

When shopping for personal protection, you should never wonder about the legitimacy of the body armor you are purchasing.

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