Wearing Body Armor in Public: Is It Legal and Should You Do It?

Can You Wear Body Armor in Public

Can You Wear Body Armor in Public

Many people are buying body armor these days which is causing a lot of questions to pop up. One of the most common questions people have when they first start looking for body armor is if they can wear it in public.

It is legal to wear body armor in nearly every state, in almost any area. In most states, it is an additional felony to commit a crime while wearing body armor. Check your individual state’s laws just to be sure since some states restrict the wear of body armor in certain areas, like schools.

Wearing body armor in public isn’t always a good idea even if it is legal where you live.

Is it Legal to Wear a Bulletproof Vest in Public

Wearing a bulletproof vest in public is legal in most states as long as you aren’t a convicted felon. In some areas, it’s illegal to wear body armor on school grounds so make sure that you check ahead of time if you plan on wearing body armor in or around a school.

Most states have some kind of provision that makes it illegal to commit a crime while wearing body armor. Committing a crime while wearing body armor will result in everything from an additional fine to extended sentences to additional felony charges.


What states can you legally wear body armor in?

The list below reflects the current laws regarding wearing buying, owning and wearing body armor as of the time of this article. Make sure that you double-check the specific laws in your area before buying or wearing body armor.

Alabama

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Alabama. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Alaska

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Alaska. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Arizona

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Arizona. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Arkansas

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Arkansas. Possessing body armor is Class A Misdemeanor in Arkansas if you are convicted of manslaughter, murder, assault, aggravated robbery, or battery.

California

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in California. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Colorado

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Colorado. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Connecticut

Connecticut’s body armor sales laws are more strict than other states. Residents can only buy or sell body armor in face to face sales. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Connecticut.

Delaware

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Delaware. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Florida

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Florida as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Georgia

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Georgia as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Hawaii

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Hawaii. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Idaho

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Idaho. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Illinois

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Illinois as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Indiana

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Indiana as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Iowa

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Iowa. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Kansas

It is illegal to wear, carry, or possess bulletproof vests during rallies, protests, demonstrations, or parades in Topeka, Kansas.

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Kansas. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Kentucky

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Kentucky. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Louisiana

You cannot wear body armor on school grounds in Louisiana. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Maine

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Maine. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Maryland

Anyone may own or buy body armor in Maryland as long as they have never been convicted of drug trafficking or a crime of violence.

Massachusetts

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Massachusettes. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Michigan

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Michigan. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Minnesota

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Minnesota. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Mississippi

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Mississippi. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Missouri

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Missouri. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Montana

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Montana. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Nebraska

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Nebraska. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Nevada

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Nevada. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

New Hampshire

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in New Hampshire as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

New Jersey

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in New Jersey as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

New Mexico

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in New Mexico. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

New York

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in New York as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

North Carolina

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in North Carolina as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

North Dakota

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in North Dakota. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Ohio

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Ohio. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Oklahoma

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Oklahoma as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Oregon

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Oregon. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Pennsylvania

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Pennsylvania. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Rhode Island

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Rhode Island. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

South Carolina

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in South Carolina as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

South Dakota

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in South Dakota. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Tennessee

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Tennessee as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Texas

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Texas. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Utah

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Utah. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Vermont

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Vermont. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Virginia

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Virginia as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Washington State

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Ohio. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

West Virginia

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in West Virginia as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Wisconsin

Adults can legally buy and wear body armor in Wisconsin as long as they don’t have a felony conviction. Wearing or possessing body armor while committing a crime is an additional crime itself.

Wyoming

There aren’t any additional body armor laws in Wyoming. Adults can legally buy and wear body armor as long as they don’t have a felony conviction.

Can felons wear body armor?

Felons are prohibited from buying, owning or wearing body armor nearly everywhere.

If you’re a felon and feel that you need to be allowed to wear body armor, some areas allow you to get special permission in extenuating circumstances. Check with the State Police to see if they can do anything to help you.

Should You Wear Body Armor in Public

Even though you’re allowed to wear body armor in public in most situations, you should really think about whether you should wear body armor in public.

You need to think about how other people are going to react when they see you walking around in body armor. In the world that we live in people overreact to anything they perceive as a threat (and seeing you in body armor probably counts as a threat to them).

If you’re in some kind of imminent danger then go for it and wear body armor. If you aren’t, I’d suggest keeping it in a vehicle of carrying a bulletproof backpack.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide what’s right for you and your situation.

Who Can Buy Body Armor

According to Cornell Law School, felons are prohibited from buying body armor in every state. In Connecticut, you can only purchase body armor in a face to face transaction.

Other than those two stipulations, almost anyone can buy and wear body armor.

Conclusion

Wearing body armor in public is legal for almost anyone unless you’re convicted of a felony or committing a crime.

The bigger question really is should you wear body armor in public. For that, you really need to make the determination for yourself depending on where you live and your current situation.

Scroll to Top