U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- People think that the Second Amendment revolves around guns. That is not quite the case. The right to keep and bear arms doesn’t begin and end with guns – in fact, while guns have occupied the centerpiece of the debate over the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms is a lot more encompassing.
In the Caetano decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment protected stun guns, but also stated that the arms being borne didn't have to exist at the time of the Second Amendment's enactment. So yeah, when the phaser gets invented, it, too will be protected by the Second Amendment. But bearable arms aren't just guns or futuristic laser pistols. Knife Rights has been taking on the battle with bladed weapons. One other facet emerging in the Second Amendment debate is body armor. There are some efforts to restrict or ban possession of body armor in Congress.
One of those efforts is HR 4568, the Responsible Body Armor Possession Act, introduced by Representative Grace Meng (D-NY). This legislation makes it illegal for civilians to own Level III body armor after the enactment of the bill.
Now, this ban isn’t a full ban in the way that Beto O’Rourke and Eric Swalwell want to ban the AR-15. Those who bought Level III armor before the bill becomes law will be allowed to keep it. Afterwards, though, buying or possessing Level III armor becomes a federal felony with a sentence of up to 10 years.
According to the National Institutes of Justice, part of the Justice Department, Level III body armor can stop any round up to 7.61x51mm NATO rounds. At one store, a given set of body armor comes in at around $440, which is a little less than half the price of a Mossberg 930 SPX autoloading shotgun.
Just looking at the body armor on the page, one thing jumps out: Just how conspicuous it is. Wearing this armor is going to attract a lot of attention – which is why you don’t hear a lot about criminals wearing this sort of body armor during crimes.
So, why the ban? Well, Representative Meng didn’t put out a press release for this bill, which has cropped up in past Congresses – albeit introduced by other Representatives. A previous version, introduced by Representative Mike Honda (D-CA), was justified on the grounds that it would make responding to active-shooter situations safer for first responders.
The fact is, we don’t even know that possession of certain types of body armor is even a factor in tragic events like mass shootings. It seems, like modern multi-purpose semiautomatic firearms, that this bill is another massive punishment on Americans for crimes and acts of madness they didn’t commit.
Second Amendment supporters should take the time to contact their Representative and Senators and politely urge them to oppose this legislation. Any sort of ban on anything that punishes Americans from crimes and acts of madness they did not commit is not reasonable.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics, and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.