Body Armor is Legal for Civilians to Own

There are many homeowners who make the mistake of assuming that body armor can only be owned and worn by civil servants, such as police officers and members of the military. That is not the case at all though. Every citizen has a legal right to be able to own body armor. Body armor for civilians has been legal for many years because the government knows that people have a right to protect themselves, their property, and their family. If you are injured or killed, your family will have to fend for themselves, which can create a horrible situation.

When choosing the body armor that you plan to use for protective purposes, you need to be sure that you take the time to find an option that fits you well through an online armor retailer. You may have to try on a few vests before finding one that is comfortable and fits you the way that it is intended to fit you. You do not want the vest to sit too high on your chest or to be so large that it hangs off you. Taking the time to try on a few options will allow you to be certain that you are buying the right size vest for your needs.

Next, you need to make sure that you buy plates that are ideal for protection. There are many options for plates and they all different in some way. You may want to choose a ceramic or Kevlar panels because they are affordable and lightweight. If you want an option that is very protective, yet a bit more pricy, you may want to choose a titanium or polyethylene plate. Each plate has its own specific advantages and taking the time to consider them all will allow you to be sure that you are not missing out on the right plate to suit your needs.

Finally, you need to consider where the vest will be located in your home. You want to be sure that you can easily get to it when needed. Also, some of the plates cannot be exposed to the sun for extended period of time so the vests should be stored somewhere that does not have exposure to the sun. If you take the time to store the vest in a place that is easy for you to get to it, you can be sure that you are able to protect yourself so that you can protect your family.

Running drills every so often to ensure that you are able to get to the vest quickly can help you to decrease the amount of time it takes you to get to the vest and then get it on your body. The vests are legal for civilians to own and use as they see fit. If you feel that your life may be in danger when you leave the home, you could wear the vest under your clothing to provide yourself with additional protection throughout the day. It is up to you to decide when and where you choose to wear the vest. 

Author: Anthony McGrath,

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17 thoughts on “Body Armor is Legal for Civilians to Own”

  1. Those of you with children might want to consider something like this….

    I got one of these for my daughter and put it in her bookbag. This will stop up to a .44 mag. I told her if there is ever a shooting in school to hide, get into a fetal position, and keep her bookbag in front of her. Inexpensive insurance policy to protect the most priceless thing you have. Worth every penny in piece of mind.


    PS – I also taught her how to stick her thumbs in someones eye sockets if she’s obducted, but thats a WHOLE other conversation LOL

  2. “Body armor for civilians has been legal for many years because the government knows that people have a right to protect themselves, their property, and their family.”

    Do we need to have a conversation about where we get our rights? I know your heart’s in the right place, but please, we have to stop passing on these basic assumptions that government has to approve everything we do.

  3. Err, not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but some states prohibit possession of body armor by mere mundanes. Can you guess which ones?

  4. Anyone have a good DIY on making your own plates for personal use in a constructed vest? Not a 55 gallon barrel with suspender straps…..

  5. This is for those on a budget. Iv taken two 16gauge pieces of steel, cut them to 12×11 to fit my vests and they can be individually bent to the shape of your chest. Kept behind the Kevlar. (Have been tested to stop a 9mm and 40 with just the steel so adding the Kevlar vest on top [should] stop a .223 or 7.62 without significant trauma. Also there are Kevlar groin protectors. I don’t know about you but that is a important spot to protect.

  6. Dukefan,

    Adding soft body armor over the top will not increase it to rifle rating. Steel used for armor plating has a different hardness than the steel you are most likely using. Shoot the 16ga steel with a 5.56 or 7.62 and see what happens. Most likely it will not stop it.

  7. The soft body armour is rated IIIA I believe it would stop it but yes I’m still in testing mode. May need a 3rd steel plate. But I also have 1/4″ hardened steel plates it will stop a 5.56 7.62×39 .308 and a shotgun slug without the Kevlar layer. Tested it just haven’t fully tested the 16ga layers. The quarter inch is just heavier than I’d prefer. Appreciate the input “3rdMan”.

  8. Anyone have any ideas on lightweight materials that may strengthen Kevlar? Putting a layer of Rubber cement on it? Anyone have any input, would love to hear. I know a guy on doomsday preps mixed something to reinforce his vest. Although he did go overboard on it.

  9. Dukefan3

    The A on the end of the IIIA is related to soft body armor which is rated for handgun rounds only. Plates are rated either III or IV no letter follows them. It can be confusing if you do not deal with it on a regular bases. I am interest in hearing your test result when you get them though.

    The felon comment was more directed at the article not anything you posted. Sorry if implied.

  10. Yea I understand I just believe the Kevlar will slow the round down enough to prevent penetration of the steel and trauma to the area. I know just the Kevlar wouldn’t stop a powerful rifle round. But yes as soon as I finish testing it I’ll comment on here

  11. Bad news “3rdman”. The 7.62×39 penetrated 3, 16gauge sheetz. The 40 was stopped by just 2 layers and a .357 was stopped by the 3rd. Have yet to test .223. A little dissapointed guess I’ll have to invest in the real plates and keep the layered steel in a backup vest.

  12. Duke, although I do not condone home made armor, I suggest that you try a test using your plate in front, backed by your Kevlar. Kevlar in front puts the fibers on the chopping block between the bullet and plate. It is possible that the plate may reduce the velocity sufficiently for the Kevlar to catch the projectile. It would be an interesting comparison test. Regards, D.


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