California Body Armor Statute Tossed for Vagueness

Via RideFast, it looks like the California ban on possession of Body Armor by convicted felons has been tossed out by a California appeals court.  You can find the ruling here. It’s largely a problem of how California defines the term “body armor.”  The federal standard is probably better for those purposes, which can be found in 18 USC 921:

(35) The term "body armor" means any product sold or offered for sale, in interstate or foreign commerce, as personal protective body covering intended to protect against gunfire, regardless of whether the product is to be worn alone or is sold as a complement to another product or garment.

Now, in this case, the federal law might not apply, since the jacket in question was a flak jacket, and stated clearly it didn’t protect against small arms fire. But the federal definition only hinges on how the product is marketed, not on its actual capabilities. This would prevent an absurd result, such as possession of boiler plates by felons being unlawful, under the theory that they can stop some bullets, and could possibly be worn underneath clothing.

6 thoughts on “California Body Armor Statute Tossed for Vagueness”

  1. You would think after the 5th shot to the chest with no effect he would have gone for a headshot at such close range.

  2. So the Court’s solution is to make a brand-name list? Like the existing gun list?

  3. So all body armor makers have to do is rate their vests for supersonic lead crossbow bolts. Of course, first they have to build a supersonic crossbow.

  4. I don’t think the court has a solution, it’s just saying this isn’t one. What the solution ends up being is up to the legislature.

  5. It also looks like if you advertise it as a stab resistant vest then all is well federally?

    Also are the comment numbers all supposed to be “1” or are they supposed to count upwards?

  6. @Paratrooper JJ: Lemme guess – Internet Explorer of some kind (probably 8)?

    I have the same issue with IE 8. I thought I had mentioned it to our host, but it doesn’t interfere with the free icecream

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