In the wake of mostly-failed calls for gun control to combat mass shootings, legislators in New York and several other states have turned their attention to a new target: civilian body armor, reports Pew Stateline. Until recently, Connecticut was the only state that had restricted how ordinary citizens buy and sell military-grade tactical gear. Critics say the armor has empowered violent criminals—including mass shooters—to return fire at law enforcement and extend their rampages, reported The Crime Report.
Over the past 20 years, sales of body armor have grown steadily among the general population, complicating some procedures for police officers, who now must train to shoot around body armor, and alarming some lawmakers and advocates, who question why so many Americans now own tactical gear intended for combat. New York passed the nation’s first body armor ban June 6, a narrow prohibition on soft body vests that legislators have said they will soon expand, but at least one body armor manufacturer has promised to sue, arguing the state has no right to outlaw protective equipment.
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