Body Armor

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Body Armor, bullet-resistant vests and related.

California law prohibits felons from owning or possessing body armor. California law also makes it a crime to wear a 'body vest' while committing certain violent crimes.

Body Armor defined

Penal Code 16288

As used in Section 31360, "body armor" means any
bullet-resistant material intended to provide ballistic and trauma
protection for the person wearing the body armor.

Body Vest defined

Penal Code 16290

As used in this part, "body vest" or "body shield" means any
bullet-resistant material intended to provide ballistic and trauma
protection for the wearer or holder.

Illegal for felons

Penal Code 31360

(a) A person who has been convicted of a violent felony
under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any
other state, government, or country, who purchases, owns, or
possesses body armor, as defined in Section 16288, except as
authorized under subdivision (b), is guilty of a felony, punishable
by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16
months, or two or three years.

Sentence enhancement for wearing vest during a violent offense

Penal Code 12022.2(b)

  (b) Any person who wears a body vest in the commission or
attempted commission of a violent offense, as defined in Section
29905, shall, upon conviction of that felony or attempted felony, in
addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony
or attempted felony of which he or she has been convicted, be
punished by an additional term of one, two, or five years. The court
shall order the middle term unless there are circumstances in
aggravation or mitigation. The court shall state the reasons for its
enhancement choice on the record at the time of the sentence.
  (c) As used in this section, "body vest" means any
bullet-resistant material intended to provide ballistic and trauma
protection for the wearer.

Violent offenses listed

Penal Code 29905

(a) As used in this chapter, a violent offense includes any
of the following:

[28 different crimes as of June 21, 2012]