Is body armor legal for civilians to purchase?

You don't need an FID card to purchase it and don't need to go through a background check


NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The suspect who allegedly shot two Boston Police officers was wearing body armor. 22News looks into if there are any laws or regulations on civilians purchasing body armor.

We took our questions to the Northampton Police Department. They told us that body armor is legal for any civilian to purchase, as long as you are not a convicted felon. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, then owning body armor violates federal law.

You can easily get body armor online on sites like eBay and Craigslist. You don’t need an FID card to purchase it and don’t need to go through a background check.

On Thursday, the Northampton Police Department replaced their expired body armor with new vests complete with a center plate to protect vital organs.

Northampton Police Capt. John Cartledge told 22News, “Within a police department. All of ours are registered. We know which officer is assigned to which body armor. In Massachusetts you can possess one and purchase one with no restrictions.”

The only state where you can’t buy body armor online is Connecticut, where it has to be face to face. Here in Massachusetts, there is also an extra charge that can be tacked on if you commit a felony while wearing body armor.

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