Body armor bans come to the forefront
Calls for new gun restrictions inevitably follow most American mass shootings, including the one that killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket six weeks ago. But in the wake of the Tops supermarket massacre, legislators in several states also have turned their attention to a new target: civilian body armor.To get more news about camouflage bulletproof vest, you can visit bulletproofboxs.com official website.
Such equipment—including helmets, bulletproof vests and armor plates—is designed to protect soldiers and law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Until recently, however, no state but Connecticut had restricted how ordinary citizens buy and sell military-grade tactical gear. The armor has, critics say, empowered violent criminals—including mass shooters—to return fire at law enforcement and extend their rampages.
Over the past 20 years, sales of body armor—like sales of guns and ammunition—have grown steadily among the general population, said Aaron Westrick, a professor of criminal justice at Lake Superior State University who has worked extensively with body armor companies and law enforcement. That has complicated some procedures for police officers, who now must train to shoot around body armor, and alarmed some lawmakers and advocates, who question why so many Americans now own tactical gear intended for combat.
In Buffalo, a bulletproof vest allowed the accused 18-year-old gunman to continue his attack even after being shot by a store security guard, retired police officer Aaron Salter Jr. Salter was among those killed. According to the Violence Project, a nonpartisan research center, 21 mass shooters in the past 40 years have worn body armor.
“The shooter in Uvalde had it, in Buffalo, in Aurora, in Boulder, in Sutherland Springs,” New Jersey state Sen. Joseph Cryan, a Democrat and former county sheriff, said of the Tops shooting and other massacres in Texas and Colorado. Cryan’s proposed civilian body armor ban is in committee. “Why do we have to wait for another one?”
Lawmakers have attempted to regulate body armor before, but without much success. In 2019, Democratic U.S. lawmakers in the House and Senate proposed two separate, federal body armor bills that never made it to a vote. New York state also has repeatedly considered, but never adopted, a proposal to create a central registry of body armor sales and distributors.
This time, however, proponents have been bolstered by the back-to-back tragedies in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas, where both gunmen wore some type of tactical gear. In Buffalo, a set of law enforcement-grade hard armor plates saved the shooter from a bullet that police say might have ended his attack much earlier. In Uvalde, the gunman wore a plate carrier vest without its bulletproof inserts—a nonprotective get-up that some legislators have nonetheless said illustrates the threat of mass shooters and body armor.
n addition to Uvalde and Buffalo, shooters recently wore bulletproof vests during the 2015 attack on a county Christmas party in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 people; the 2017 attack on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that killed 26; and the 2019 attack outside a Dayton, Ohio, bar that killed nine.