New York recent ban on body armor for civilians and California’s attempt to ban body armor for civilians raises the question…what right to states have to ban law abiding citizens the ability to protect themselves?
At present, New York is the only state to ban body armor for civilians. Connecticut requires an in person purchase and California’s “ban” was amended to: (a) A person who has been convicted of a violent felony 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 in Section 16288, except as authorized under subdivision is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, or two or three years.
This is a pretty universal restriction, If you have a felony conviction, you can’t own a firearm or body armor.
So what right to states have to ban body armor from it’s citizens?
It doesn’t and my guess is that the New York law will be overturned at some point because it turns out, it is a violation of your second amendment rights.
The following is taken from the website: https://onlygunsandmoney.com/2023/02/07/is-body-armor-protected-by-the-second-amendment.html written by John Richardson.
The Second Amendment says, in part, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Jus tice Scalia in DC v Heller went to great lengths in his opinion to show that “the people” was much more than merely the militia. He said the strong presumption was that the Second Amendment was a right that is “exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.” Thus, it should be assumed that any law which restricts possession of an item to a select class of individuals is suspect.
But would body armor be considered “arms” in the meaning of the word when the constitution was ratified?
The answer is yes.
Justice Scalia helpfully points out a couple of early definitions of arms as it would have been understood by James Madison and the other architects of the Constitution.
First, from Dr. Samuel Johnson in his Dictionary of the English Language, 1755, (online edition):
Arms. n.s.without the singular number. [arma, Lat.]
1. Weapons of offence, or armour of defence. (emphasis added)
Second, from Timothy Cunningham in his A New and Complete Law Dictionary, 1764:
Armour or Arms, (Arma) In the understanding of law, are extended to anything that a man wears for his defence, or takes into his hands, or useth in wrath to cast at or strike another. (emphasis added)
In both cases, arms were understood to be more than weapons of offense such as a sword or a musket. Arms could also be a means of defense that was meant to be worn. Thus, a suit of armor or even a chain mail vest would have been understood to be arms at the time of the ratification of the Second Amendment.
If one applies the newer standard of text, history, and tradition as expressed by Justice Thomas in NYSRPA v. Bruen, it seems obvious to me that body armor would be a constitutionally protected “arm” that one could keep (possess) and bear (wear).
It should be noted that after the Bruen decision, New York has been hell bent on passing laws that are directly in violation of that decision and this is no different. The fact that TEACHERS are not on the allowed list should speak VOLUMES as to who is protected. IDK how many building inspectors get shot every year…but I’m guessing a lot more CIVILIANS do.
It’s amazing…the one thing that literally STOPS gun violence, get’s banned.
It’s simple – if you have a government job, you’re protected, if you’re commuting into New York City…you’re screwed.
Every year about 2,000 people in New York City are injured in gun violence, or 1 in every 2,350 people who work and live in the city at any given moment.
Point is…you can make body armor A LOT easier than you can a gun…and these are just the first two videos that came up on youtube.