Banning body armour to stop crime

British Columbia in its ongoing battle to fight crime has decided to ban body armour. The rationale, according to Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Kash Heed is (I think) public safety.

Heed said the bill, the first of its kind in Canada, would mean gang members “will no longer be able to hide behind body armour.”

“Police see it all too often,” said Heed in a release. “The gang member or organized criminal is out on our streets and in our neighbourhoods while hiding behind the added protection of bulletproof vests, as innocent bystanders remain unprotected and vulnerable.

“By taking away criminals’ sense of security, we decrease the potential for violence in public settings.”

Please……give me a break.

As usual, the politicians get it backwards or maybe they just spin these things thinking the public is too stupid to recognize bullshit when they hear it.

Are we to believe that these gangbangers put on body armour and then go into public places to start a shoot-out?

Or could it be that because they have rivals out to kill them they put on body armour to hopefully survive an attack.

It seems to me that if the police think that they can “decrease the potential for violence in public settings” by banning body armour they could also keep those big time drug dealers off the roads and stop drive-by shootings by banning those big, black, Cadillac SUVs that seem so popular to the trade.

The U.S. is apparently more honest in their legislation against the use of body armour.  Although the article states that the US has similar legislation, that is apparently not the case.

The Canadian legislation is a blanket prohibition that makes it illegal for anyone not licensed to own or sell the product.

The Body Armour Control Act would:

• Place controls on the possession of body armour by allowing police to seize it from those unauthorized to own it;

• Create a licensing program for businesses and their employees who sell body armour, as part of the Security Services Act;

• Require those trying to buy body armour to get a permit proving a reasonable need for owning it; and,

• Require applicants to undergo a criminal-record check.

Anyone found with unlicensed armour could be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months. A business illegally selling the protective equipment could face fines up to $100,000, and the business owner could also go to jail for up to six months.

So the Canadian law manufactures criminals.

While the US legislation according to Wikipedia (if Wiki can be trusted for factual info these days) limits the ban to convicted felons and the like.

United States law restricts possession of body armor for convicted violent felons. Many U.S. states also have penalties for possession or use of body armor by felons. In other states, such as Kentucky, possession is not prohibited, but probation or parole is denied for a person convicted of certain violent crimes while wearing body armor and carrying a deadly weapon.

The U.S. law targets existing criminals.

Regardless, I can see why the police want a blanket ban on body armour.

They don’t want to find themselves in a fire fight with an opponent who is wearing the stuff. The police are looking for a tactical advantage, which is understandable from their point of view.

They also want another reason to be able to arrest and charge that part of the population that they associate with the use of body armour, namely the drug dealing crowd. More to the point, the upper echelon of that business.

Anyway, its not that the government is going to get any flack over the wording of the legislation as there are few if any law-abiding citizens who would feel the need to deck themselves out in this regalia.

But the ban won’t stop these guys from wearing this gear, any more than the guns laws don’t stop them from illegally owning and carrying firearms, or the anti-drug laws don’t stop them from dealing, or the criminal code deters them from committing murder.

So don’t feed me the crap that this legislation will improve public safety, deter criminal behaviour or even stop the wearing of body armour. If you’re worried that one of your business rivals is going to take a shot at you, a fine or even a short jail sentence is going to look to be a far better option than a trip to the morgue.

But in the world of politics the government gets to pass another law showing they’re trying to do something about crime, the police get another tool they want and life goes on as before.

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8 Responses to “Banning body armour to stop crime”

  1. Paul Donaldson Says:

    I agree totally with the content of this article. As an example of in-effectiveness, as a former UK resident I witnessed the gun bans happen in England. Did it stop criminals carrying guns – no. All the gun laws did was stop people who enjoyed the sport from enjoying it, hell, the situation now in the UK is that we have 15 year olds carrying weapons, videoing themselves using them and posting the vid on YouTube!

    The way society is these days and I believe in large part caused by the actions of these very same politicians I don’t blame any law abiding citizen wanting to wear body armor in some neighborhoods and the people who are supposed to listen to you are trying to turn you into a criminal – what’s that all about? The USA sa quoted by the writer has got it right – if you commit a crime wearing BA then you get the ban – why the hell should everyone else suffer just because you’re a criminal and got caught?

    In the UK stab crime is rife, especially among teenagers. Parents buy stab vest for their kids to wear at school. Stupid legislation thought up by overpaid politicians who really don’t care about you and me and really don’t listen to what the people say and who are only interested in keeping their cushy jobs will make more criminals out of people who just want to protect themselves from harm – people do get caught in crossfires, innocent people do die in these circumstances so who the hell do the politicians think they are by preventing the ordinary citizen from protecting themselves. Ah but wait, a licence means a fee and a fee means money – goddam, another tax – a tax on protecting yourself!

  2. Conant Says:

    U.S. Federal law makes it a crime for a felon to possess body armor that has been sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce. 18 U.S.C. §§ 931 and 921(a)(35). State law varies, as it usually does.

    Here’s a pretty good summary of US State law from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Soft+body+armor:+the+legal+issues-a016984614:
    The statutes of 10 States criminalize only the wearing of body armor, whereas 3 States adopted statutes that criminalize both the wearing and use of body armor. Most State statutes, however, stipulate that an additional act is necessary.

    For example, in Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, a defendant must be committing or attempting to commit a felony while wearing body armor, although the Massachusetts statute also criminalizes the use of body armor, not just the wearing of it. A defendant in Michigan violates the body armor statute while committing violent acts or threatening to commit violent acts, even if the offenses are not felonies.

    California’s statute requires the defendant to be wearing body armor while committing or attempting to commit a violent offense, as defined in the California Penal Code. The body armor statutes in Florida, Louisiana, and New Jersey list specific offenses that a suspect must have committed or be attempting to commit while wearing body armor to violate the statute. Conversely, New Hampshire New Hampshire, one of the New England states of the NE United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts (S), Vermont, with the Connecticut R. forming the boundary (W), the Canadian province of Quebec (NW), and Maine and a short strip of the Atlantic Ocean (E). employs a sweeping provision that prohibits the use or wearing of body armor and expands the required additional act to include the commission of any misdemeanor or felony.

    Three States require that a defendant, in addition to wearing or using body armor, possess a weapon before a violation of the body armor statute can occur. The Illinois statute requires that an offender knowingly wear body armor, possess a dangerous weapon, and commit or attempt to commit any offense. New York’s statute stipulates that a person is guilty of unlawful wearing of body armor while committing a violent felony and possessing a firearm. In Virginia, the defendant must be in possession of either a firearm or a knife while wearing body armor and be committing a crime of violence to violate the statute.

    Penalties

    Just as the additional conditions required by the statutes vary, so do the penalties. In Illinois, the penalty is a misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for subsequent offenses. Delaware’s statute defines the offense of wearing body armor as a felony, imposes a minimum sentence of 3 years, and mandates that violators over the age of 16 be tried as adults. Some States designate the offense as a felony of a specific degree, e.g., third degree in Florida, class B in New Hampshire, class E in New Jersey, and class 4 in Virginia.

    Three States specify the punishment without specifically characterizing the offense as a felony. For example, Louisiana’s statute calls for a fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment.
    In those states where the penitentiary system has been adopted, convicts who are to be imprisoned, as part of their punishment, are sentenced to perform hard labor. for no more than 2 years. In Massachusetts, the sentence is a minimum of 30 months and a maximum of 5 years in a State prison, or imprisonment of no less than 12 months and no more than 30 months in a jail or house of correction . Oklahoma requires imprisonment in a penitentiary penitentiary: see prison. for no more than 10 years for the first offense and not more than 20 years for subsequent offenses.

    Probation and Parole

    Two States even addressed parole and probation in their substantive criminal statutes. Delaware not only imposes a minimum sentence of 3 years but also mandates that “no person convicted for a violation of this section shall be eligible for parole or probation during such 3 years.” New Hampshire prohibits any part of the sentence for violating the body armor criminal statute from being served concurrently with any other prison term.

    Statutes Enhancing Sentencing

    California and Wisconsin approached the issue from a different perspective. The statutes in these States do not create a separate substantive criminal offense. Rather, they impose additional or enhanced sentences on defendants convicted of committing or attempting to commit other substantive crimes while wearing body armor.

    California’s statute prescribes an additional sentence “upon conviction of that [underlying] felony” to a term of either 1, 2, or 3 years. The statute requires that a 2-year term be imposed, unless the court finds or mitigating factors, and that the additional sentence run consecutively to the sentence for the underlying felony.

    In Wisconsin, the statute authorizes, but interestingly does not require, a sentence of an additional 5 years. No mention is made, however, as to whether the sentence should run concurrently or consecutively.

  3. Body Armor Says:

    I understand the reasoning behind this law but it doesn’t make any sense. Put restrictions on buying ammo before banning body armor. If a citizen feels unsafe in the neighborhood they live in they should have the option to purchase life saving body armor to wear as protection.

  4. Stefan Says:

    it’s simple really, the government could a) outlaw the means of killing people, and criminalizing the ability to attack but allowing survival if such an attack were to occur, or b) outlaw means of not getting killed, but allowing the means of attack, thus criminalizing the ability to survive any such attack. the us and canadian governments both chose b, and people continue to get shot and die of bullet wounds

  5. Brent Says:

    The statement: “The Canadian Law manufactures criminals”. Most of the Liberal Government’s Bill C-68 did just that out of most Canadians. It cost the taxpayers of this country way more money than it was worth and it has changed nothing.

    The streets of Toronto are worse than ever for gang violence and shootings for which these laws did nothing to prevent. It is time for Canadians to admit that “liberal muticultualism” has some very high costs to our society and tax coffers…

  6. Musikschule Münster MOTET Internationale Musikschule Muenster(NRW) Says:

    Musikschule Münster MOTET Internationale Musikschule Muenster(NRW)…

    [...]Banning body armour to stop crime « Totalrecoil[...]…

  7. ciderapple Says:

    If making things illegal works so well, how about we just make it illegal to commit violent crime? According to british colombia logic that should stop it entirely!

  8. Discount codes Says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on mba program. Regards

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