A new bill has been introduced to the House which could make civilian ownership of body armor illegal.
The bill, called the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act, would strip the right of civilians to purchase or own body armor. The bill reads, “It shall be unlawful for a person to purchase, own or possess enhanced body armor.”
Enhanced body armor, as defined by the bill, is “body armor, including a helmet or shield, the ballistic resistance of which meets or exceeds the ballistic performance of Type III armor…” Type III armor protects against most standard issue rifles as well as many rounds used in handguns.
However, there is an exception to the bill. The bill reads all body armor will be illegal to possess unless the person in question is a government employee. All personnel who work for the various government agencies, departments, or “political subdivisions” are exempt from this potential new law as the bill is currently written.
The bill also reads any person who buys body armor before the bill would take effect would be able to possess their body armor in a similar manner as those government employees who are exempt.
Finally, if the bill were to pass and someone was caught wearing or owning any restricted body armor, the bill reads the person would receive a fine, possible jail time, or both as punishment.
The bill was introduced by California Rep. Mike Honda (D) and is co-sponsored by Reps. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and Danny Davis (D-I.ll).
Currently, the bill is still being reviewed by the House Judiciary. You can follow the bill’s progress here.