Add §§270.21 & 270.22, Pen L; add §396-eee, Gen Bus L; add §144-a, Exec L
Prohibits the purchase of a body vest; establishes that the purchase of a body vest shall be a class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a class E felony for each subsequent offense; establishes that the unlawful sale of a body vest shall be a class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a class E felony for any subsequent offense; creates a civil penalty for the unlawful sale or delivery of body vests.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10497
SPONSOR: Rules (Jacobson)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the penal law, the general business law and the execu-
tive law, in relation to the unlawful purchase and unlawful sale or
delivery of a body vest
This bill would make the purchase or possession of a bullet-proof vest
illegal unless one is an active law enforcement officer, firefighters,
and other first responders, or employed in an occupation which requires
the use of body vests.
SUMMARY OF PROVISION:
Section 1 makes it illegal to purchase or own a body vest
(bullet-proof vest) except if one is an active law enforcement officer,
firefighter, and other first responders, or employed in an occupation
which require the use of body vests as determined by the Department of
State. An unlawful purchase or possession of a body vest is a class A
misdemeanor for the first offense and a class E felony for any subse-
Section 2 provides that any person in possession of a body vest shall
have 15 days from the effective date of this act to dispose of such body
vest at any local or state law enforcement agency.
Section 3 sets forth the effective date. This act shall take effect on
the sixtieth day after it shall become a law.
Individuals working in law enforcement or as firefighters, first respon-
ders, or in certain other occupations, such as armored car drivers or as
security guards, have a legitimate need to own and wear bullet proof
vests (known in New York State law as a body vest). Other than these
professionals, no others have a legitimate reason to purchase or own a
Bullet-proof vests are necessary to protect those in law enforcement or
in other professions that carry risk of injury from gunfire. Too often,
however, bullet proof vests are being used by individuals who want to
protect themselves from law enforcement while they are carrying out a
crime. A bullet proof vest emboldens the person wearing it and gives
them a feeling of invincibility.
The shooter in the recent Buffalo Tops Grocery Store massacre was wear-
ing a bullet proof vest. This individual had performed reconnaissance on
the store prior to the massacre and knew that he would encounter the
store's armed security guard. The day of the massacre, the security
guard shot the perpetrator, who was protected by his body armor. The
shooter then returned fire and killed the security guard. This pre-medi-
tated attack claimed ten innocent lives before the shooter surrendered,
virtually unharmed, to law enforcement. By restricting the possession
of bullet proof vests to those in laws enforcement and other legitimate
occupations, we can limit the damage caused by criminals who use guns
and help law enforcement to stop mass killers like the Buffalo shooter.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2019-20: A8538 - referred to codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
No fiscal impact to the state. Local and state law enforcement agencies
may incur some minor expenses for collection and disposal of body vests.
This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law.