As a straightforward answer, not really. But there is more to it. First off, what qualifies as a bulletproof vest or body armor? It is a vest that is often worn over the upper body to protect the wearer from gunshots and other ballistic attacks.


Bulletproof vests are made out of bullet proof materials that are woven into a fabric-like pattern before the vests are made out of it. Popular materials like Kevlar are known to be able to absorb the impact of high-speed bullets and projectiles, repelling it and restricting further movement into the body of the wearer. To further bolster the effect of the vest, ceramic or metallic plates are added to protect wearer from rifle shots or much larger projectiles.

Military personnel and law enforcement officials have body armor as part of their uniforms. So, it cannot be illegal for them to wear one. However, there are some civilians who – for one reason or another – own or wear a bullet proof vest. Gun store owners, hunters, and other kind of outdoor enthusiasts use them. Unfortunately, so do criminals. Hence, the purpose of this article.

The advantages of using a body armor far outweigh the disadvantages. For one, the wearer’s chances of dying are drastically reduced than in normal circumstances. Hence, in the event of a crime scene, the police would find it hard to bring down a criminal using a body armor. This raises the need for the regulation of its use.


Nations, such as the USA, have very strict laws of body armor usage and possession. The US law (18 U.S.C.A. Section 931) prohibits a felon from owning, possessing or purchasing a body armor, unless it is required to perform a lawful business. Even at this, a permit will still be required to get it. Defaulters would be sentenced to a maximum of 3 years in prison.

In addition, according to 42 U.S.C. Section 3796ll-3(d) (1), using a body armor during the commission of a federal crime or federal drug trafficking will result to an extension of the sentence.

While it is not illegal to own a body armor as a civilian, the state also has to be watchful for ill-minded people who might want to take advantage of this privilege.

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