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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

New rules on body armor in the NI miss vest worn by the killer Buffalo


ALBANI, NI ( Associated Press) – New York’s new law banning the sale of bulletproof vests to most civilians does not cover the type of armor worn by a gunman who killed 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket, which could limit its effectiveness in deterring future military-style attacks. .

During the May 14 attack, Peyton Gendron wore a steel vest, armor strong enough to stop a bullet from a pistol fired by a storekeeper who tried to stop Gendron’s rampage.

A law passed quickly by state lawmakers after the attack restricts the sale of vests defined as “soft bulletproof armor.”

Soft vests, which are light and can be hidden under clothing, can be effective against gun fire. Vests wearing steel, ceramic or polyethylene plates, which can potentially stop rifle bullets, are not explicitly covered by the legislation.

That has left some retailers confused about what they can and cannot sell – and lawmakers are talking about a possible solution.

“I know you said soft vests, but what about hard armor plates, plate carriers or armor that are not vests, but clothes that provide protection. Is that also forbidden? It’s so vague, “said Brad Pedel, who runs 221B Tactical, a tactical equipment and armor store in New York. He said his store tends to sell more hard armor than soft type, which is banned.

With the toughest armor still allowed for sale, “I’m not convinced this law makes much sense,” said Warren Eller, a professor of public policy at John J. College of Criminal Law.

Assembly member Jonathan Jacobson, a leading sponsor of the law, told the Associated Press that he would “be happy to change the law to make it even stronger”.

New York Governor Katie Hochul, a Democrat, is also aware of the need for change, her office said.

“Governor Hochul was proud to have signed a revolutionary new law passed by the legislature to restrict the sale of armor and will work with the legislature to expand the definitions in the law at the earliest opportunity,” it said.

Across the country, there are several restrictions on the sale of armor. Before New York law was passed, Connecticut had one of the few restrictions. It only allows people to buy it from dealers in person, not by mail order.

Pedel says that many customers in his shop in New York are buying armor for their own protection.

“It is disappointing because the residents are just scared, and they come to us because they are scared, and we offer help that makes them safer, that they will not be stabbed, injured or potentially killed,” Pedel said. “The fact (legislators) take it away, regardless of the purpose they have in mind, I think it is really sad and unnecessary and morally wrong.

The New York ban aims to prevent criminals from gaining an advantage over peacekeepers or security guards like Aaron Salter, who was killed trying to stop a racist attack by an armed assailant on a Buffalo supermarket.

Of the killers who have killed four or more people in public since 1966, 12% wore vests, said sociologist James Dansley, co-founder of The Violence Project, a nonprofit research center with a database of mass shootings.

New York law restricts the sale of soft bulletproof vests to people who work in the police and military, as well as people in some other professions that require protective equipment. The list of jobs that qualify someone for the purchase of armor, and which do not, has yet to be determined by state officials.

The State Department in New York said in a statement sent by e-mail that the officials are considering a new law and plan to develop regulations for qualified professions that require the use of vests.

Leaders of the Deadline Club, a New York branch of the Association of Professional Journalists, called on Hochul to veto the law, citing concerns about whether it would make it harder for news organizations to buy armor for journalists working in conflict zones or covering civil unrest in the United States.

“I know a large number of photographers who wore protective equipment as a precaution while out in situations that could become violent,” said Peter Szekeli, chairman of the advocacy group.

New Yorkers are still allowed to own vests and buy them in other states, although Jacobson, a Democrat, said he would work to eliminate that option during the next legislative session in January.

“We wanted to get things done as quickly as possible and not let it get in the way of the good,” Jacobson said. “Like all laws in the state of New York, we are always trying to improve them in the future. Of course we will try to improve this law. “


Maisoon Khan is a member of the Corps for the Associated Press / Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national program that puts journalists in local newsrooms to report on hidden topics. Follow Maisoon Khan on Twitter.

World Nation News Desk
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