Proposed Body Armor Ban for American Citizens
Russ Chastain 08.08.14
A California Congressman named Mike Honda has submitted H.R. 5344, “The Responsible Body Armor Possession Act,” to the United States House of Representatives. In a recent statement, Honda said, “There’s nothing more dangerous than what a well-armored, unstoppable active shooter can do. This bill is common-sense and long overdue.”
Honda seems to prefer a world in which police can kill people with ease.
The stated purpose of the bill is “to prohibit the purchase, ownership, or possession of enhanced body armor by civilians, with exceptions.” Exceptions include the federal government, state governments, and body armor already legally possessed.
The definition of “enhanced body armor” in the proposed bill is as follows: “body armor, including a helmet or shield, the ballistic resistance of which meets or exceeds the ballistic performance of Type III armor, determined using National Institute of Justice Standard–0101.06.”
Honda referenced a recent crime as the reason for this new legislation. An excerpt from a local news story reads as follows: “The congressman cited a shooting on July 22 in Riverside County, where a man wearing body armor and armed with an assault rifle shot and killed two sheriff’s deputies and wounded another.”
This seems to be fictitious, though. Reports on the crime indicate that the two victims were not police officers at all, and a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department press release states that one officer had “minor injuries” – and makes no mention of the shooter wearing armor.
Predictably, this proposed legislation has been lauded by anti-gun groups. An article at guns.com also deflates claims by the anti-gun Violence Policy Center that the mass murderers at Newtown and Aurora wore body armor.
Laws like this, so often passed with the help of emotional tales like the one apparently concocted to support this bill, do nothing to prevent criminals from getting what they want. I believe this legislation will only widen the gap between the type equipment the government (and criminals) possess, and what’s available to law-abiding citizens–and that is never a good thing.
I fail to understand how any thinking person can believe that making more laws will reduce crime. Criminals commit crimes; it’s what defines them. That means they will break ANY AND ALL laws, including gun laws, armor laws, etc.
Besides, there is already a federal law prohibiting the “purchase, ownership, or possession of body armor by violent felons.”
Honda’s proposed bill will not help law enforcement agencies protect citizens. It will only restrict citizens from buying armor if they choose to do so.