Body armor is largely unregulated and there are few laws regarding its purchase and use. You CANNOT own body armor if you are a convicted felon. Alternatively, if you live in the state of Connecticut, you cannot order body armor online, it must be purchase in person, in a face to face transaction.
So called NIJ certified body armor is a body armor that complies with NIJ Ballistic Resistance Standard, 0101.06 that can be found online on the NIJ website. Certification process itself takes place in a certified laboratory appointed by National Institute of Justice and comprise of (among others) a excessive wear and tear simulation process called “conditioning”. That include being heated up to extreme temperatures, putting into a tumbling machine for a thousands of cycles, submerging in water, eventually simulating being dropped on concrete. Once that is done, body armor is tested against given ballistic threat.
For an armor plate to be successfully NIJ tested, it needs to be able to stop the rounds it is rated for with back face deformation below the NIJ 44mm limit but in ambient conditions. Body armor is test “as is” and is not subject to the abuse conditioning that certified pieces undergo. If you have a successfully tested NIJ plate, it will be able to protect you and you should not worry about quality as long as they were tested in independent certified laboratories.
If you still thinking which one would be best for you, here’s analogy: imagine you’re a Nascar driver and you compete every week on track in the toughest conditions that any vehicle can be exposed at. It’s obvious you will drive a vehicle in race track configuration with ceramic brakes, double clutch, cage frame and all other professional equipment… and that’s NIJ Certified armor in our example. The one that will endure extremely harsh environment.
However, for those who do not race in Nascar but still like to step on the throttle on their way to work there is a variety of road configuration sports cars that do not have cage frame… but they are still fast and drive nicely! And that is our NIJ Tested plate!
So as long as you do not plan invading hot and humid lands for super classified underwater mission but you need an everyday carry body armor, NIJ tested plate will be a very reasonable choice thanks to its quality and reasonable price.
Level 3A soft armor is the highest level of pistol protection, capable of stopping rounds up to .44 magnum. Level IIIA is what most people need, and what most police officers wear as its lightweight, flexible, and easily concealable. Level 3A armor is also what many ballistic helmets are rated for, and what most concealable vest are rated to.
Level 3A Soft Armor is not a jack of all trades though, unless the armor is upped with anti-stab protection, the user is still vulnerable to slashing and stabbing motions. Additionally, 3A soft armor offers no protection against any sort of rifle rounds, or hyper velocity rounds.
Level IIIa soft armor can be worn anywhere and everywhere unless otherwise stated, especially if it is worn underneath clothing in a concealable configuration.
Level 3 Hard Armor is armor that is rated to stop rifle threats up to 7.62×51 NATO (M80 ammunition). The pros of Level 3 armor is that it is capable of stopping most, if not all, common caliber rifle rounds that you would encounter. It is often worn by Police SWAT teams and military soldiers. However, anyone who is not a convicted felon can own one in the United States.
Some Cons of Level 3 Hard Armor is that it is difficult, If not impossible to conceal properly and thus does not allow the wearer to maintain a low profile if that is priority.
Level 3+ special threat is a stop gap measure developed for those not authorized by the United States Department of Defense to manufacture Level 4 Plates. It is not officially recognized by the National Institute of Justice, but offers superior protection to Level 3. Level 3+ armor is rated to stop M855A1 caliber rounds, which possess armor piercing capability. While it will not stop .30 caliber rounds such as with Level IV, it does offer superior protection to basic level 3 armor. However, it is often heavier as a result.
Body armor is legal to be worn and brought on airplanes, if you are not a prohibitive person, you should have no issues with carrying body armor on a plane.
Body armor CANNOT be shipped overseas, or brought with you overseas without proper governmental approval due to the fact that it is an export restricted item and falls under EAR and ITAR export control regulations.
Hard Armor Plates made entirely of UHMW PE material are neutrally buoyant meaning they will float in water. That does not mean they will substitute as a life jacket though. Plates that are made of PE and ceramic composite will sink because of the ceramic weight.
Concealable vests are used for discreet and comfortable protection, they are worn underneath clothing.
Body armor can be worn anywhere, but just because that is allowed does not mean it is socially acceptable. Concealable body armor allows the wearer to have protection wherever they go, without the funny looks from strangers.
Gone are the days when soldiers or police officers had no choice but to wear big, bulky, and heavy bulletproof vests for patrol, either in some distant foreign land or on the beat in some urban or rural area where wearing body armor was a part of your job description and a piece of mission essential tactical gear. Both soldiers and cops are now able to do their jobs with lighter, compact, and functional body armor thanks to the modern-day plate carrier.
Yes, call us for more information.
INDIVIDUAL STATE LAWS
The sale of armor is permissible in 49 states (please review your state regulations before making a purchase). Public Act number 98-127 (House Bill Number 5750). Marine One Tactical will not fulfill any orders to the state of Connecticut. The purchase of body armor in the state of Connecticut must be in a authorized physical store location. Any orders purchased from the state of Connecticut will be immediately refunded, if the purchase is not in accordance with the law.
While the land of the free and the home of the brave is known to have some fairly silly laws, when it comes to personal protection most of the regulation is quite sensible. Body armor laws by state usually only refer to the federal code. And, when there is an amendment, it is usually spurred by an event that we can understand.
Any patriot in this great nation is bound to protect the laws of the land until they are unjust. And in the case of body armor, they are quite just and reasonable. Simply follow these rules and checking if you are in one of the states in which added restrictions apply will be enough.
Most additions add wearing body armor as a felony if you are already committing a crime. Expert advice is not to commit crime regardless of your defensive or offensive capabilities, but protect the unprotected and comfort those who are afraid.