Only law enforcement, active-duty troops or other authorized users would be able to buy, sell, own or use military-grade body armor, under a bill introduced Thursday by Rep. Mike Honda.
Honda, D-San Jose, issued a statement saying his Responsible Body Armor Possession Act of 2014 would let police respond to active shooters more safely and effectively.
“There is no reason this type of armor, which is designed for warfare, should be available in our communities except for those who need it, like law enforcement,” he said. “There’s nothing more dangerous than what a well-armored, unstoppable active shooter can do. This bill is common-sense and long overdue.”
The bill is supported by Santa Clara and Alameda counties’ district attorneys and sheriffs, as well as by the Fraternal Order of Police, the Violence Policy Center, the Coalition for Peace Action and Stop Handgun violence.
“There is an ongoing arms race between violent criminals and police officers,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in Honda’s news release. “Let’s make sure that the men and women who stand bravely between us and the gunfire win that high-stakes race. Let’s make sure criminals and gang-bangers never walk our streets shielded with military-grade body armor and the arrogance of someone who cannot be stopped.”
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said the bill “will serve to combat our nation’s epidemic of gun violence and protect communities and law enforcement from mass shootings.”