For some unfathomable reason, the gun debate often spills over to body armor. This shows that civilians wearing armor is often viewed in a purely aesthetic sense, and not in a functional one. Still, same as with guns, the law is on the side of the legitimate user.
There are, in general, only three scenarios where you are not allowed to wear body armor on US soil as a US citizen:
- You were previously convicted of a violent crime
- You are currently committing a violent crime
- The owner of private property you are on doesn’t allow it
Additionally, even if you have a violent criminal past but have paid your debt to society and corrected your ways, you can still get written permission if you need to wear body armor for a job.
Otherwise, those who want to buy body armor and don’t plan on becoming violent criminals have a wide range to choose from as any type of body armor is legal to wear in every state.
Military-Grade Body Armor
There is a huge misconception on the market that any type of army body armor or military gear would be unavailable to the general civilian market. In reality, the opposite is the truth and the US Army regularly sells off its surplus body armor to civilians.
The main reason why few civilians will be seen in the full Interceptor Body Armor setup is not the legality of buying one, but the practical application. Unless there is open warfare on the street and you have a whole unit behind you, you are just carrying around more weight than needed.
For civilians, something light, comfortable, and modular like the MPC™ Metropolis Plate Carrier will be enough even for serious security jobs. With a good NIJ Level III plate inside, you will be protected against anything you might encounter.
And, because modern military armor is so modular, you can always attach more if you think that it is needed. Adding auxiliary armor against bombs, explosives, or any type of flying shrapnel is easy if you have a good base plate carrier.
Best Options for Civilians
Soldiers in the army, at least in this regard, have it slightly easier. They always expect of fighting other armies that have at least some of the same capabilities.
For civilians, that if different. It would be rather foolish lugging 50lbs of armor around when going shopping because the chances of a threat of appropriate level arising are minuscule. You will just get tired.
A much better option is to have something like the UCV™ Universal Concealable Vest under your shirt and to take it off after you are done at the end of the day. This vest can stop any handgun round.
A plate carrier might be a good idea to have in your arsenal if you work in the security sector, but otherwise, it will stay unused 98 out of 100 times.