The Legality of Buying and Wearing a Bulletproof Vest
As stated on the home page of this site, it is generally legal to buy and wear a bullet proof vest. I’m not a lawyer and the laws may be different in your area. You should always double-check with a local lawyer before buying a vest.
If you are living in the US and you are a convicted felon then it is illegal for you to buy or wear any type of body armor, including bulletproof vests. Several states have an exception to this. Basically, if you can prove that you need to wear body armor for your work or your safety, you can get special permission to wear a bulletproof vest. This permission is given by the chief of police or county sheriff.
Here are some examples of bulletproof vest laws in three US states, Florida, Michigan and Texas:
Bulletproof vest laws in Florida
In Florida you can buy, own and wear a bulletproof vest. However, if you commit or attempt to commit a crime while wearing a bulletproof vest you can be convicted of a third degree felony, meaning you could serve up to five years in prison, have to pay a 5000 dollar fine and spend the next five years on probation!
Bulletproof vest laws in Michigan
In Michigan, you can buy and wear a bulletproof vest, unless you have been convicted of a violent felony.(Defined in section 36 of 1953 PA 232, Michigan Compiled Law 791.236)
Here’s a quote from the Michigan Penal Code:
“a person who has been convicted of a violent felony shall not purchase, own, possess, or use body armor.”
Be careful: in Michigan, making a verbal threat while wearing a bulletproof vest is a felony! Here’s the relevant section of the Michigan Penal Code, 750.227f:
“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”
Bulletproof vest laws in Texas
In Texas you must be at least 21 years of age to buy a bulletproof vest. In most other states the minimum age is 18. Section 46.041 of the Texas Penal Code states that:
“A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if after the conviction the person possesses metal or body