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When Can Civilians Wear Body Armor?



When asking if we can or can’t wear something like body armor we should first give our thanks that we are living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Unlike many other countries, law-abiding citizens of the US can wear their body armor openly without any repercussion and with only a few restrictions in several states.

Actually, it is easier to cite situations when it would be illegal to buy, own, and carry body armor:

  1. If you are a felon convicted of a violent crime
  2. In some states – while you are committing a crime
  3. Private property when it is clearly stated
  4. Public School Property in Louisiana

As you may notice, the best way to wear your body armor wherever you want is to refrain from committing any violent crimes. While there are many strange laws in the great US of A, this one is really straightforward and written with common sense in mind.

Open Carry Proudly

Having an external carrier is more of a question of convenience and culture than law. While having any body armor is always better than having none, letting everyone see it may not be the best tactical decision. At the moment, Level 4 body armor plates provide the highest amount of personal protection.

Clearly, if you work in the security field you will want something that can project authority like the MVM™ Metropolis Vest. You want people to recognize you as someone there to preserve peace and ensure security.


You may carry such vest as a civilian doing your daily routine as well, but that might not be prudent. If you are passive and someone is trying to attack you, they might target you first because they see you have defensive capabilities and would want to neutralize you first.

Cover Civilian Body Armor

For ‘everyday wear’ it is often better to go covertly. In some cases, this will mean having a vest under your clothes, as is the rule with many police departments all over the country. These soft vests are light and leave you with a lot of maneuverability, while also protecting you from all types of handgun ammo.

Furthermore, there is an even better option if you want to stay incognito while being protected. Armored covert clothing is probably the best thing for casual and passive security, where nobody will know that you are protected, even if they are standing right beside you.

Items like the AH™ Armored Hoodie from UARM has proven to be soft, comfortable, easy to wear, and able to stop a .44 Magnum round straight to the chest. That is not something you see every day, and even if you do see it you don’t know it’s there.


Legal Framework

There are a few legal points that everyone wanting to buy body armor should know.

Generally, it is perfectly legal to buy body armor online, but it is safer to buy it from a legitimate manufacturer or distributor. Buying stolen body armor is a federal crime.

Also, even if you have a difficult past and want to work in a risky job you still can, but you need to have a note from your employer that you need body armor for your work.


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