H.R. 5344 - Bill Banning Enhanced Body Armor

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
On Jul 31st 2014, US Congressman Mike Honda introduced a bill, labeled the "Responsible Body Armor Possession Act":

http://honda.house.gov/news/press-r...ion-act-keeps-military-armor-out-of-the-wrong

There is a petition to stop this, which makes it seem like HR5344 is banning all body armor.
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/pe...w-abiding-citizens-owning-body-armor/GNrBKFrF
However this is slightly misleading, as the text of the bill bans 'enhanced body armor'
https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/honda_responsiblebodyarmorpossessionact-1-pdf.8380/
NIJ 0101.06 Defines type II (not banned) a protecting against anything up to a 9mm FMJ (Full metal jacket) or .357 Magnum JSP

Or as describe by a body armor vendor:
http://www.bulletproofme.com/Quick_Answers.shtml
Level III-A (commonly refered to as 3A) is what is being proposed as being banned.
 

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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So the conspiracy theory is that this is banning all body armour?

, obviously incorrect - debunked
Yes, but then there's also a broader conspiracy theory that this is part of some government plot to take over, herd people into FEMA camps, etc.

The intent of the OP was just to give perspective, since you can't really debunk things like the FEMA camp idea, I'm just trying to show what the bill is really about.

Of course many people still find the idea of banning 3A body armor to be objectionable and suspicious.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Its reminiscent of the "gov't buying billions of rounds of ammo" bit from a while ago.
Similar, however in this case the government actually are proposing to restricting ownership of something that is currently legal. The "billions of rounds" was just a misunderstanding of the ordering process and how many rounds are used. But both raise similar suspicions.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
But what is the civilian use of body-armour? Is it part of hunting safety? Something people wear when they're out shopping just in case?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
But what is the civilian use of body-armour? Is it part of hunting safety? Something people wear when they're out shopping just in case?
"Preppers" buy it in case of a collapse in civilization.
http://graywolfsurvival.com/2193/preppers-and-body-armor-safeguard-stealth-review/

And for what seem like a list for the overly cautious, including "working at a school" or "taking money to the bank".
http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/02/22/10-reasons-civilian-consider-buying-body-armor/
 

KAT

Active Member
Didn't people used to buy body armour and send it to soldiers in Iraq etc to make up for the poor quality they were being issued with? or was that just another anti-government story?
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Didn't people used to buy body armour and send it to soldiers in Iraq etc to make up for the poor quality they were being issued with? or was that just another anti-government story?
Related story to help answer that question:

Full article:
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-26-body-armor_x.htm

As a PERSONAL note.....this is a sad commentary on the United States military, and Congressional "over-sight" that allowed such a situation to develop.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
Didn't people used to buy body armour and send it to soldiers in Iraq etc to make up for the poor quality they were being issued with? or was that just another anti-government story?
It might not be legal but a soldier could always give his family the information needed to purchase the armor. They could give it to anyone for that matter.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
It might not be legal but a soldier could always give his family the information needed to purchase the armor. They could give it to anyone for that matter.
OK....I think the gist and point of this thread OP is about limiting the availability for "non-combat" U.S. citizens (i.e., civilians) obtaining body armor "apparel".

I would assume this, based on the concern about civilian citizens (NOT military) who, once so equipped, being a threat to legitimate LEOs and other enforcement agencies.
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned
OK....I think the gist and point of this thread OP is about limiting the availability for "non-combat" U.S. citizens (i.e., civilians) obtaining body armor "apparel".

I would assume this, based on the concern about civilian citizens (NOT military) who, once so equipped, being a threat to legitimate LEOs and other enforcement agencies.
I know what it's about, thank you though.

Just pointing out that if the bill passed there could still be ways for a soldier (who is legally allowed to own it) to be able to purchase it even if they don't have the means to while in a combat zone.
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
Related story to help answer that question:

Full article:
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-26-body-armor_x.htm

As a PERSONAL note.....this is a sad commentary on the United States military, and Congressional "over-sight" that allowed such a situation to develop.
But by gum they gotta keep buying A1M1 tanks even when the Army says they don't need more of them.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/04/28/army-says-no-to-more-tanks-but-congress-insists/
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
OK....I think the gist and point of this thread OP is about limiting the availability for "non-combat" U.S. citizens (i.e., civilians) obtaining body armor "apparel".

I would assume this, based on the concern about civilian citizens (NOT military) who, once so equipped, being a threat to legitimate LEOs and other enforcement agencies.
The video a few years ago, of the guys who robbed a bank in full armour and carrying pretty high power rifles demonstrates just how much of a threat this can pose to LEOs
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
Well this is the problem. Law enforcement wants civilian body armour banned to prevent just this kind of thing which HAS happened in the past and could get a lot worse as far as deaths of officers AND civilians is concerned.

This will however fuel paranoia that if "they" want to herd everyone off to FEMA concentration camps etc, they will be helpless if Obama takes away their guns and body armour.. etc etc.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Is the ammunition that can penetrate enhanced body armour illegal for civilian use?
Not entirely:
http://smartgunlaws.org/federal-law-on-ammunition-regulation/
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
What does the hard core extremist gun lobby want? Neighbourhood militias with mortars, tanks, and full combat capability?

Iraq almost had that in the years of the failed American occupation. Worked out so well for them.
 
Surely this line:

Stop H.R. 5344 from stripping citizens of our freedom and ability to defend ourselves and our families.

would only apply in a combat situation where one would have the time to strap on the armour in anticipation of a perceived threat. With that being the case, presumably, there would be very little opposition to the bill as that kind of scenario is highly improbable in America is it not? So is this conspiracy mainly being raised by the types who anticipate a stand up fight with authorities and/or a lawless citizenry?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Surely this line:

Stop H.R. 5344 from stripping citizens of our freedom and ability to defend ourselves and our families.

would only apply in a combat situation where one would have the time to strap on the armour in anticipation of a perceived threat. With that being the case, presumably, there would be very little opposition to the bill as that kind of scenario is highly improbable in America is it not? So is this conspiracy mainly being raised by the types who anticipate a stand up fight with authorities and/or a lawless citizenry?
You'd think. Body armor enthusiasts describe several use cases:
http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/02/22/10-reasons-civilian-consider-buying-body-armor/
 

MikeC

Closed Account
I'm sure tank enthusiasts could recite several use cases where possession of a QF 75mm+ gun behind 50+mm of armour would be justified....and that list from Mick looks pretty reasonable to me :)
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
If I were to use these points as guidance I'd be wearing body armour all the time. I'd be sleeping in the thing, burglars don't really work sociable hours.
Mick's post number one in this thread states
"Level III-A is a little thicker, stiffer, heavier and more expensive, but will stop more of the uncommon pistol threats, for example, it is tested for 9mm sub-machine-gun and .44 Magnum. Plus it gives you more blunt trauma impact protection – possibly better to return fire in a gunfight."

I can tell when a LEO is wearing a vest and theirs are the thinner Level II. It makes them look quite barrel chested.

Of course the bill only applies to the heaviest protection vest available, Level III. In the cases described in the list , the vast number of times those scenarios would occur will not require this level of vest. This line really gets me
"Someone may attempt to rob you while you are going to and from your car. It can be a great way to protect yourself and not have to worry about anyone knowing that you are wearing the body armor at all" Since wearing the vests that this bill refers to WOULD be pretty visible to anyone looking at you (John, have you gained 25 pounds or are you wearing two extra sweaters?").Someone robbing you as you go to your car is right next to you. A level three vest may stop a bullet and save your life but its going to hurt. If the perp then notices you are still good to go he's as likely to recognize you are in a vest, at which point he may well assume you also have a weapon (its a pretty small leap of logic to make), and shoot you in the head.

The courthouse bailiffs may have access to such armour. Is the stenographer going to wear it? The Judge sits behind a podium that could better be armoured rather than the judge him/herself.

Threats from an ex or intruders in your home- what, you're wearing the vest 24/7? Really? Home invaders don't usually give you time to run to the closet and choose a wardrobe adjustment.

Money to a bank - since these type of vests are going to be fairly obvious, the perp just shoots you in the head from close range. He has to get close anyway to take what you have. Wearing a less obvious vest might do you better. You can get a level I sport coat or business suit.

Post Office/disgruntled employee - keep in mind that your co-workers will know you are wearing a vest of this type so if they go off the deep end they just shoot for the head. If you aren't wearing head to toe protection they target your upper leg, THEN shoot you in the head as you lay there in shock.
 
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WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Well....then the answer seems to be: "Aim for the head".

Slightly facetious, I know. The torso is the larger target...with many vital organs of course. Still, a person's legs and especially the thighs can be tempting targets, and sometimes fairly extensive in width........Bonus: Non-fatal (unless a major artery...the femoral... is hit), but certainly will bring a person down.

It occurred to me that the torso is 'only' a large target when it is viewed directly front- or back-on. A person presenting a side-view? Very different. I don't shoot, so this is a layman's bit of thinking, here. Too much Hollywood, I imagine.....
 
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KAT

Active Member
Head??? you guys ever hear of helmets? legs can bed protected, to some extent, with a kevlar suit, which can look quite like a normal one (though make you stick out a bit in areas where everyone else is in jeans).
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Head??? you guys ever hear of helmets?
Yes....but a Kevlar helmet as part of an "enhanced body armor" ensemble isn't exactly 'covert'...I think some of the discussion pointed out that certain types and designs of torso protection can be concealed under appropriate clothing.
 

Jason

Senior Member

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
Hmmm....suddenly I am reminded of this OLD trope:

Reminded from this article.

When it comes to any attempts to enforce restrictions, people (whether legally or illegally) tend to find a "way" around any such limits.

Sadly.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
Most of those cases mentioned above it seems to me the unaffected armors would be sufficient, some of them even preferable.

Honestly, the best argument for level III armor I can think of is one nobody seems willing to make: Hunting accidents frequently involve shotguns, sometimes at very close range, and while I can't find much information on what kinds of body armors are effective with shotguns, I would imagine concealability isn't a concern but maximum protection is. I know it's a long way from the narrative gun rights groups want, but that kind of drunken stupidity does happen. A lot. Consider a particular vice president who showed an epic disregard for the 10 o'clock rule and muzzle sweep discipline, and imagine if the same mistake had been made hunting deer instead of birds.
 

jaydeehess

Senior Member.
Head??? you guys ever hear of helmets? legs can bed protected, to some extent, with a kevlar suit, which can look quite like a normal one (though make you stick out a bit in areas where everyone else is in jeans).
From post 26 arguing against the bill
"Someone may attempt to rob you while you are going to and from your car. It can be a great way to protect yourself and not have to worry about anyone knowing that you are wearing the body armor at all."
Yeah a helmet would offer added protection. Part of the supposed appeal though is that you aren't obviously wearing protection. I don't envision helmets becoming common fashion anytime soon so its going to be a bit obvious.
 
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