Complete List of Body Armor Purchase and Sale Laws By State

In What States Is Body Armor Legal?

There are two ways to consider this question, and we’ll be discussing both.

The first question pertains to what states is body armor legal to sell. These laws differ from those pertaining to what states body armor is legal to buy, own, or use.


Remember, if you have questions about the laws pertaining to your jurisdiction or situation, your best bet is to consult with a local attorney to better understand your rights. We are not lawyers, and nothing in this guide is to be construed as legal advice. Further, while we make a good faith effort to keep up with the laws across each state and jurisdiction, these can and do change over time.

Can anyone, including civilians, buy body armor in the United States?

Not only in the US, but in many other parts of the world, firearms are among the most deadly dangers to both the public and law enforcement. This is why it is vital to consider body armor as a means of personal protection, and the laws surrounding its use based on where you live.

Such risks and an increase in shootings has led to increased interest over time in the ownership and use of body armor. Some body armor can come in various types of bulletproof vests, but there are other types of body armor on the market as well.

For example, there are hard body armors, made of plates constructed from materials engineered to offer the highest level of protection, and soft body armors, made from fibrous layers of unique fabrics to increase maneuverability and comfort while maintaining a moderate degreee of protection.

Some states have particular arms and armors regulations on the purchase, sale, and ownership of these items. While laws are generally made for the good of all citizens, they can also become an issue if not handled or understood correctly.

This is never more true than when it comes to the responsibility of those interested in purchasing and owning body armor. In fact, more importantly, you are actually fully responsible for knowing whether or not you have actually acquired armor from a legitimate entity in your region of residence.

This means you have to do your own homework and research to make sure you are buying and using body armor legally. Most States do not have restrictions on retailers offering and selling body armor of any can, and you will be the one in trouble if you don’t make an acceptable body armor purchase.

This is exactly why we have created this list. So you know the rules and regulations for your state and won’t get caught in any sort of trouble during or after your body armor search and purchase.

In What States Is Body Armor Legal To Sell?

Technically, you can sell body armor in all 50 states, but each state has different regulations on what is allowed and not allowed. With the exception of a single state, any law-abiding (non felon) resident of the US can purchase body armor online and have it shipped to them.

However, in Connecticut, you can only purchase body armor in a face-to-face transaction. It is illegal to sell someone body armor in Connecticut online and it is illegal to purchase body armor online or even over the phone or via SMS text message. The entire sale and purchase must be handled in person, face-to-face.

Yes, even secondhand body armor falls under these regulations in Connecticut.

Also, in terms of selling, you cannot sell, ship, or bring body armor outside the United States without Federal permission. In terms of owning, your body armor purchased in the US must stay within the US and cannot cross the border in any way.

Another important factor to consider is the responsibility to body armor retailers. In 49 States, there are no specific laws pertaining to the retail sale of body armor that would negatively affect the retailer. As mentioned above,

Connecticut is the only state which has specific laws affecting the retailers of body armors.

While this can make things a lot easier for body armor retailers, it doesn’t mean that anyone can do anything and everything they want once they have purchased body armor. Several states have varying and specific laws about the ownership and use of body armor.

We will outline the majority of these rules and regulations to help you navigate what States body armor is legal to purchase and own.

In What States Is
Body Armor Legal To
Purchase And Own?

Every State has its own laws concerning who can purchase body armor and the punishment for owning or wearing body armor in certain situations.

In fact, the only common law across all States is that no one with felony charges, past or present, is allowed to purchase or own body armor. Aside from that, it can vary from state to state who can purchase and use body armor.

As mentioned above, in Connecticut it is illegal to purchase or sell body armor in any format other than in person and face-to-face, which means it is also a criminal offense to purchase body armor online or by crossing state lines.

Who Cannot Buy Body Armor Legally?

In addition to state-specific rules that apply to the general population, pursuant to federal penal code 18 U.S.C. 931, those individuals who have been convicted of a felony have lost their legal right to wear, buy, sell or be in possession of body armor. Those found to be in violation of this law may face further felonies and serious charges with steep penalties including prison time.

However, there is an exception to this rule. Convicted felons may be allowed to purchase and wear bulletproof vests if it is required by their employer to do so, and if they have obtained legal permission in writing to do so.

States With Criminal Charges For Wearing Body Armor In Certain Situations

In some states, there are little-to-no extra laws prohibiting the purchase of body armor. However, there are states that do not allow some individuals to own or wear body armor in certain situations.

In the States below, we list the situations in which it is illegal to own or use body armor for each State that has extra body armor laws. Violation of these laws can result in criminal charges and steep penalties and fines, up to and including imprisonment.


-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing a violent crime, regardless of whether you own the body armor or not.


-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing a violent crime, but additional charges can be filed depending on how the body armor was purchased.


-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing a violent crime.


-Body armor cannot be worn while trafficking drugs or committing a violent crime.


-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing a criminal act of any kind.


-Illinois has a special law in which you are not allowed to wear body armor when using dangerous weapons, aside from firearms, when committing a crime.


-Indiana has a special law in which you can be charged with the illegal wearing of body armor even if the crime you commit is accidental or unintentional and are found to be wearing body armor. This can include traffic violations.

North Carolina

-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing any criminal act.


-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing any criminal act.


-Specifically, in Topeka, Kansas it is also illegal to wear body armor during a protest or parade or rally in addition to while committing violent crimes.


-It is illegal to wear body armor while knowingly trafficking drugs or committing violent crimes.


-A special permit is required to purchase, own, or wear body armor as given by the Secretary of the Maryland State Police. In addition to this, it is illegal to wear body armor while committing any type of crime.


-Body armor cannot be worn while committing a violent crime or drug trafficking.

New Hampshire

-It is a Class B Felony to wear body armor while committing any type of crime.

New Jersey

-Wearing body armor while committing any type of criminal act will result in additional jail time or a fine.

New York

-Wearing body armor while committing a criminal act while using firearms will result in a Class E Felony, whether working alone or with a coordinated group.

Rhode Island

-In a recent addition to body armor laws in 2012, it is now illegal to commit a criminal act while wearing body armor of any kind.

South Carolina

-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing any kind of criminal act.


-It is a Class E Felony to wear body armor while participating in any kind of criminal activity.


-The State of Virginia has a specific set of laws that make it illegal to wear body armor while using a knife or firearm with the intent of the body armor to prevent or negate the effects of ballistics or projectiles. This will result in a Class 4 Felony.

West Virginia

-The State of West Virginia has a unique law in which individuals who commit a felony offense while wearing body armor with the intent to physically harm, use the threat of violence, threaten with force, or present deadly weapons or firearms. This can lead to a separate felony charge in addition to the act of felony already committed.


-It is illegal to wear body armor while committing or attempting to commit an act of felony. This will result in additional felony charges and adds extra jail time to any other criminal acts committed.

States With No Extra Body Armor Laws

While some states have additional laws and regulations in place that restrict or prohibit the use of body armor or bulletproof clothing in certain situations, there are other states that are more relaxed on body armor policies.

In these states, you are allowed to sell, purchase, and own body armor as long as you have no past or present felony charges or convictions. In fact, it is more common than not for States to have no extra body armor laws and no responsibility on the retailer of body armor.

The interesting thing is that some states have chosen to allow the use of body armor, even in certain criminal situations, in order to allow all individuals the same level of protection, no matter what.

With this in mind, in the below States, you are legally allowed to purchase, own, and use body armor given you have no criminal felony charges, past or present:

This is still the United States after all. While many of our freedoms have been slowly chipped away, you have a right to protect yourself and your loved ones from harm. In today’s emotionally and politically charged society, violence and uncertainty are on the rise.

Every day there is another shooting, violent protest, home invasion, and more, all too close for comfort. Body armor offers a safe, effective, affordable, reliable and LEGAL means to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Your God-given Right To Protect Yourself And Your Family

Whether for personal protection on the front lines (such as law enforcement or bounty hunters), or as part of your home security and safety plan, body armor can mean the literal difference between life and death.

At Bulletproof Supply Store we take incredible pride on offering cost-effective and reliable personal safety gear that performs without fail. Browse our robust selection of the industry’s best body armor and protective gear today, and get the peace of mind you deserve.

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