B.C. now has in place their legislation to ban body armour – at least if you don’t have a permit to possess the gear.
VICTORIA – Canada’s first restrictions on sale and possession of soft body armour have taken effect in B.C., and two other provinces are also trying to deprive gang members of one of their status symbols.
B.C. passed legislation last fall to require a permit to buy body armour, and those who currently own or sell it, have six months from July 1 to pass a criminal record check and obtain a permit. Police can now confiscate body armour from those who don’t have a permit or exemption, and
Alberta passed legislation this spring to create similar restrictions, and Manitoba has introduced legislation. Opposition critics in Alberta compared the permit plan with the federal government’s costly long-gun registry, and security experts noted that body armour can be bought from the U.S. or overseas through websites that promise world-wide shipping.
The B.C. law exempts police officers, sheriffs, corrections officers, conservation officers, armoured car guards, security guards, security consultants and private investigators. Out-of-province individuals who require body armour to work have to apply for a 90-day permit exemption.
When the bill was introduced, former public safety minister Kash Heed said the government expected few applications for permits, such as for gang associates in protective custody in order to testify in court.
Vancouver Police encountered people with body armour and no legitimate use for it 230 times between 2002 and 2009.
At the time the BC government was proceeding with the legislation, I noted my negative thoughts here and here. To date, I haven’t seen anything to change my mind. It won’t stop them from buying the armour and it won’t stop them from wearing the armour. Just another useless law on the books.