Body Armor: A Survey of State and Federal Law, 2nd Edition.
by Michael B. Puckett
Bellmer Press, 2004. Soft-cover. 178 pages, plus a 7 page supplement.
The foremost book in print detailing the legal treatment of body armor under the law of all states and federal law, and its impact on the ability to purchase, possess, and use bulletproof and fragmentation vests, ballistic helmets, and other material that provides ballistic resistant and bodily protection. Completely revised and updated with over 70 pages of new material, including new laws recently enacted pertaining to body armor. Written in a easy to read format for both law enforcement and civilians.
The book includes an extensive section dedicated to how body armor is defined and an examination of the four predominant definitions for body armor currently followed at the state level. It outlines when the possession or use of body armor qualifies as its criminal misuse, and the associated penalties. As well as providing an examination of those states that restrict the purchase, possession, and use of body armor based on felony and/or misdemeanor conviction, and the penalties for the unlawful possession of body armor. Including, what criminal convictions disqualify a person from having any contact with body armor. Most people do not realize, and often find out too late, that in some jurisdictions and under federal law certain criminal convictions prohibit a person from having any contact with any ballistic resistant material. This includes bulletproof and fragmentation vests, ballistic helmets, trauma plates, or any material marketed and sold as providing ballistic resistant protection. Also included is an overview of bills introduced and considered under each state and federal law over the last 5 years that sought to regulate body armor in some way, but did not become law. This provides insight into where the law in a jurisdiction may be headed in the future.
The book also contains an expanded overview of federal law that is new to the second edition that includes recent sentencing guidelines adopted for the criminal misuse of body armor. The parameters of the federal restriction on the purchase, possession, and use of body armor by persons convicted of certain crimes. The overview of federal law also contains a discussion on the exportation of body armor and recent regulatory rules adopted that restrict the shipment of body armor to foreign countries and certain designated individuals and entities. Due to anti-terrorism and national security concerns, the exportation of new or used body armor is heavily regulated. A multi-page supplement has been added detailing the illegal sale of government owned body armor, and provides both civilians and law enforcement with some background on this problem.
For law enforcement, this book is geared toward officer safety and the proactive enforcement of laws pertaining to body armor that were enacted to ultimately protect law enforcement. This book provides law enforcement with one concise source on the regulation of body armor under the law of all states and federal law. This knowledge can be used as a platform to better enforce the law within individual jurisdictions, and it enables law enforcement to influence the regulation of body armor in the future. Additionally, the current trend at the state and local level is the use of federal law as a means to enforce the criminal misuse and restricted possession of body armor, so the overview of federal law addresses this trend.
Overall, you will not find another book or source that covers the legal treatment of body armor as completely as this one. The reader will come away with a new understanding of where the law pertaining to body armor has been, where it is at, and where it will be in the future.
About the Author:
Michael B. Puckett served five years as a police officer and previously instructed political science and criminal justice related courses as an adjunct professor at Northern Kentucky University. He graduated summa cum laude from Northern Kentucky University with a double major in sociology and justice studies, and was named a University Honors Scholar. He also holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Northern Kentucky University and a Juris Doctorate from Salmon P. Chase College of Law. He has co-authored journal articles published in Crime and Delinquency and the Journal of the West. Over the last two years, he has focused his research and writing on body armor and its treatment under the law.