Body armour is not always simple to buy, even for those who understand the various choices available. Many do not realise that there are several laws governing body armour worldwide, and there may be restrictions on its purchase or usage depending on your area. It is your responsibility not only to ensure that you make the right decision when choosing body armour, but that you adhere to any legal restrictions or regulations in your area. Below are examples of the legal status of body armour in several different areas:
- In the UK there are currently no restrictions on purchasing and owning body armour.
- In the European Union, ballistic protection that is considered ‘for main military usage’ is forbidden to civilians.
- In Australia, it is illegal to possess body armour without authorisation in certain territories (South Australia, Victoria, Northern Territory, ACT, Queensland and New South Wales).
- In certain Canadian provinces (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia) a license is required to possess body armour, though there are no such restrictions in the rest of the country.
- In the United States it is legal to purchase and possess body armour, apart from a few exceptions:
- In Connecticut, body armour can only be purchased face-to-face, and cannot be purchased online, over the phone, or by mail;
- In New York, a proposed ban on body armour for private citizens is being debated;
- In some states such as Kentucky, committing a crime while wearing or even possessing body armour is a crime in and of itself;
- In Louisiana, it is illegal to wear body armour on school property.
Ensuring that you are abiding by the law is paramount, and this is by no means an exhaustive list. Where rules and regulations apply it is your responsibility to be aware of and adhere to them, and if you are unsure as to any such laws, you must find out.