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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/5/2005 6:01:23 PM EDT
Ok, I vaugely remember reading that body armor was illegal to own in California unless you were a peace officer or if you job necessitated owning one, like armored vehicle driver or security. But in the New Orleans SHTF topic it was mentioned that it would be a good idea to own one. I looked it up, and I don't see anything that prevents us from owning one unless we have a previous felony conviction.

12370. (a) Any person who has been convicted of a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) Section 667.5 under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any other state, government, or country, who purchases, owns, or possesses body armor, as defined by Section 942 of Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations, except as authorized under subdivision (b), is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or three years.
(b) Any person whose employment, livelihood, or safety is dependent on the ability to legally possess and use body armor, who is subject to the prohibition imposed by subdivision (a) due to a prior violent felony conviction, may file a petition with the chief of police or county sheriff of the jurisdiction in which he or she seeks to possess and use the body armor for an exception to this prohibition. The chief of police or sheriff may reduce or eliminate the prohibition, impose conditions on reduction or elimination of the prohibition, or otherwise grant relief from the prohibition as he or she deems appropriate, based on the following:
(1) A finding that the petitioner is likely to use body armor in a safe and lawful manner.
(2) A finding that the petitioner has a reasonable need for such protection under the circumstances.
In making its decision, the chief of police or sheriff shall consider the petitioner's continued employment, the interests of justice, any relevant evidence, and the totality of the circumstances. It is the intent of the Legislature that law enforcement officials exercise broad discretion in fashioning appropriate relief under this paragraph in cases in which relief is warranted. However, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require law enforcement officials to grant relief to any particular petitioner. Relief from this prohibition shall not relieve any other person or entity from any liability that might otherwise be imposed.
(c) The chief of police or sheriff shall require, as a condition of granting an exception under subdivision (b), that the petitioner agree to maintain on his or her person a certified copy of the law enforcement official's permission to possess and use body armor, including any conditions or limitations.
(d) Law enforcement officials who enforce the prohibition specified in subdivision (a) against a person who has been granted relief pursuant to subdivision (b), shall be immune from any liability for false arrest arising from the enforcement of this subdivision unless the person has in his or her possession a certified copy of the permission granting the person relief from the prohibition, as required by subdivision (c). This immunity from liability shall not relieve any person or entity from any other liability that might otherwise be imposed.
(e) For purposes of this section only, "violent felony" refers to the specific crimes listed in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, and to crimes defined under the applicable laws of the United States or any other state, government, or country that are reasonably equivalent to the crimes listed in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5.

So what's the rub? We can own them as long as we aren't a felon? I just want to make sure that I don't break the law by ordering one.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:16:59 PM EDT
You are right civilians can own them, but most companies don't like to sell them to you.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:17:52 PM EDT
i believe we can have it in our homes. i don't think we can travel with it though.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:18:53 PM EDT
what about wearing it around town under my shirt?
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 6:26:14 PM EDT
Does anyone know of any place in southern Cal that sells them to non-law enforcement
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:01:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 7:12:49 PM EDT by tatsuosan1964]
It is still legal to own and wear body armor although I have heard of some politicians who want to ban it from us civilians. As Neo pointed out, you are prohibited if you have been previously convicted of a violent felony. There is also an enhancement clause which adds several more years to a prison sentence if an individual is convicted of certain violent felonies while wearing body armor in the commission of the crime.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 7:06:15 PM EDT
They only sell level III and up to the most ELITE of the Mall Ninjas. I hear you can buy the plates and duct tape them to your body with only minor chaffing.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 8:39:20 PM EDT
There's a guy that shows up to all of he CA gun shows that says it's going to be banned soon, but he's been saying that since 9/11/01, so I know it's still legal to own and as far as I know, it's cash and carry and you can walk around town with it (you could claim you make large cash deposits) but if you commit a felony wearing it, I believe it's a mandatory additional 6 months in prison, sometimes more.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 9:17:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/5/2005 9:18:48 PM EDT by NeoWeird]
This is all great! I never looked into it because I thought it wasn't legal, but I must have misread it. I saw a website that encouraged civilians to buy their police surplus vests for around $250 and they even had the rifle plate inserts available.

I wonder how cumbersome it would be with a vest while carrying....

ETA: I meant the last part as more of a hypothetical. I am a fairly small build so it will be harder for me to conceal both items, let alone them together.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 10:04:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NeoWeird:

I wonder how cumbersome it would be with a vest while carrying....

It really depends on what you're you're wearing. There's no way to conceal a level IIIA w/ SAPPI plates, but then it's also just about required if you're going to need to stop rifle rounds. Level II concealment vests are widely available and you shouldn't look too out of place wearing one if you're got it on correctly. LEOs wear them all the time under their uniforms.

Course it's also freaking hot.

IIRC the fun over Sean Penn and his little sinking trip down to NO recently the picture shows him wearing a level II concealment vest, course he's wearing it over his shirt.
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 11:17:17 PM EDT
Body armor is civilian legal as long as you are not a felon and not intending to use it in the commission of a crime. In other words, it is treated like a gun (absent the annoying waiting period and papering).

For years, I wore my old Second Chance Model Y Level IIA vest from time to time when dealing with particularly dangerous divorce, domestic violence and stalking cases in my law practice (left over from the days when I was a volunteer Auxiliary Officer with NYPD), but this vest had no side coverage or trauma plate. In those days, the standard side arm was still the Smith Model 10 HB in .38 Special shooting round-nose lead bullets and the bad guys carried .22s, .38s or sawed-off shotguns, so there was no need to look like the Amazing Hulk. Most officers didn't even wear body armor then.

I still have those panels (Kevlar) in a tactical vest at home, but quite frankly, after 23 years, I'm not sure if they'd stop much of anything.

A Level II or IIA is quite concealable if you are wearing a loose shirt, vest or jacket. IIA is effective against essentially all pistol caliber ammunition (except high velocity blue tip 9mm fired from a SMG). A Level IIIA vest is not very concealable (think of how bulked up the Sheriff's Deputies you know appear with their vests, which are mostly IIIAs), especially if you are going to be adding soft or hard trauma or ceramic Level IV plates (the Point Blank Interceptors with SAPI plates in Iraq weigh about 18 lbs. - draw you own conclusions as to how concealable that much body armor is).

If you haven't heard, do NOT buy any vest made with Zylon. Google it to find out why. Second Chance was forced into bankruptcy because of the lawsuits involving this material, which has failed miserably (with loss of life).

When there were riots in LA after the Rodney King verdict, I tossed my tactical/ballistic vest into the trunk along with an 870 Police for a couple of weeks until things calmed down. Never had to take either out, thankfully.

Link Posted: 9/5/2005 11:28:17 PM EDT
I was actually looking at GoldFlex as the materials from a place called ProMax. It claims to be a denser stronger weave (as I understand it from the GoldFlex developers web page, which is not connected to ProMax). It says that is it lighter and 40% thinner than normal kevlar. They claim that their IIIA vests, with full side protection, are actually thinner and thus more easily concealed than a level II Kevlar vest and it only weighs just over 4 pounds.

Of course the price tag is near $700...
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 11:45:53 PM EDT
That's not expensive for quality body armor. I paid $150 for my basic (front and rear panel only) vest in 1982. In those days, a house in La Jolla could be had for $280,000. The same house now is over $2,800,000. Body armor has not increased 1,000%, or else vests would start at $1,500.

Besides, one day in the hospital costs at least $1,000. Think of it as a form of hospitalization insurance!
Link Posted: 9/5/2005 11:54:21 PM EDT
Now that I know it is legal, it is the next thing I am going to buy (was originally going to be another handgun, most likely Sig, or possibly full sized safe). It may take me a couple months to get much extra money, but I know I will love it. I just don't know if I should go for the tried and true Kevlar in a Level II, or push for a more exotic material and get the GoldFlex in a IIIA.

I wish there were product reviews for this stuff
Link Posted: 9/6/2005 1:30:32 AM EDT
NeoWeird, do you still have the web link for the surplus vests. I'm looking for a vest, and I'm not really worried about concealing it.
Link Posted: 9/6/2005 1:52:02 AM EDT

That was the place. The link straight to the used/surplus police vest section is:

Link Posted: 9/6/2005 9:17:44 PM EDT
thanks for the link!
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 6:51:57 PM EDT
here is a sweet vest/site


gonna save up for this one!
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 7:39:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NightWolf:
here is a sweet vest/site


gonna save up for this one!

Looks like a knockoff of a Paraclete RAV.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 8:09:27 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 9:20:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/7/2005 10:04:27 PM EDT by leelaw]
I got this bad boy for free.
(URL to save bandwidth)
www.apt401.com/vest2.jpg (Patch from DVD Tracker)
www.apt401.com/p245.jpg (the vest, not the Sig)

It is nice having a good FFL who trades goods for favors, like help moving stuff and logging in merchandise.

Disregard the bullet holes in the carrier. The vest is police surplus that they shot up before sending off to the dealer. I swapped the old panels with untarnished ones. Also comes with a blunt trama plate for the front, and an additional steel plate rated for 7.62x25mm and 12ga slugs and some other stuff.
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 10:17:16 PM EDT

Not enough shoulder/upper arm protection for me. When you're behind cover or prone those are the areas that you're going to expose the most (that and your pumpkin).

They sell the shoulder armor separate.

Looks like a knockoff of a Paraclete RAV.

Where's a link to that please?
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 1:58:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NightWolf:

Looks like a knockoff of a Paraclete RAV.

Where's a link to that please?


To my knowledge they were the first to come up with this style of armor. Was supposed to be a response to that horrible accident were the Marine helo was coming in for a landing on a ship at sea and for some reason it bounced overboard. The Marines in the back were unable to get their armor/gear off. Hence the Releasable Assault Vest.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 2:24:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 2:32:22 AM EDT by hycheng]
Here's mine. Tim D'Annunzio was kind enough to use some of my photos in his catalog

There was a big legal battle between Tim and NATICK/Eagle but somehow Eagle seems to be able to sell the SOCOM/Marines adopted version. I would say Diamondback is more like a copy of the Eagle MLCS than RAV.

botac will sell you the hard plate, good luck getting the soft insert though.

Link Posted: 9/8/2005 12:32:29 PM EDT
SKD tactical has good prices on the Eagle CIRIS
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 3:18:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 3:19:49 PM EDT by Duffy]
Yep, got mine well below Eagle's retail price. I was shopping for some IIIA panels, at the same time I had my Interceptor for sale. Out of curiosity I took the panels out of the Interceptor and put them in the CIRAS, the back panel (1 piece) fits perfectly, but the Interceptor is a front openning vest so has two panels in front. I taped them together and put them in the front of the CIRAS, it works too
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 10:46:13 PM EDT
So CRIAS and other carriers don't even come with soft armor? wat a rip off.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 12:00:44 AM EDT
MLCS and RLCS are meant for Marines and Rangers respectively.
You can always get the full set free. Just stop by the nearest recruiting station.
Most of the highspeed gear makers are swamped with military orders for the sandbox. They priced their civilian sells to keep their focus on the military business. The way they see it, one less civilian sale is one more gear sending over to the needed troops.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 12:49:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2005 12:49:49 AM EDT by Mauser101]

Originally Posted By NightWolf:
So CRIAS and other carriers don't even come with soft armor? wat a rip off.

You can often purchase most carriers with and without the soft armor. Carriers often wear out before the armor if it's a daily wear situation.

My father, retired leo, had no less than 5 carriers for his concealable armor. It doesn't get that hot in San Diego in August, but it gets warm enough not to want to put the same salty carrier on the next day.
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