Schumer pitches body armor regulations after mass shootings

Schumer pitches body armor regulations after mass shootings

The FBI would determine the specifics, but the senator said a civilian’s criminal record and online history would likely contribute to eligibility.

Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a bullet-resistant vest Sunday at a news conference where he announced planned legislation to regulate the sale of body armor.
Sen. Chuck Schumer holds a bullet-resistant vest Sunday at a news conference where he announced planned legislation to regulate the sale of body armor. Photo Credit: Charles Eckert

Following the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced new legislation Sunday that would limit civilian access to “sophisticated” body armor.

Under the new legislation, which Schumer said he will introduce after the congressional recess on Sept. 9, the FBI would be required to regulate sales of bullet-resistant vests and other unspecified advanced body armor. Those in law enforcement and certain public safety positions will be exempt from the regulations.

“What we have learned is a good number of those who are intent on mass shootings buy body armor. … They want to kill as many people as possible,” said Schumer. “With the click of a mouse, the scroll of a thumb, the dialing of a phone, someone up to no good can get this.”

A range of body armor is currently available online for as little as $100. Schumer said standard hunting armor will not be included in the legislation, but did not clarify what types of “specialized” body armors will be banned from online purchase.

Schumer said a civilian’s criminal record and online history of making threats and violent statements likely will contribute to the person’s eligibility for body armor, though the FBI will determine the specifics.

Schumer said his office told the FBI of the legislation, but did not hear from the agency before Sunday’s news conference.  

Li Yakira Cohen