Body Armor in Texas

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  • SC-Texas

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    I was asked whether it is legal to purchase possess and wear body armor in the state of Texas.


    The short answer is, yes it is legal to purchase possess and wear body armor in the state of Texas.


    Federal law prohibits the purchase ownership and possession of body armor by felons of a crime of violence. ". The question then becomes what a crime of violence is. That is also defined by federal law.


    It is a crime, that had, as an element of the crime,
    1. the threat of the useof physical force,
    2. the attempted use of physical force or
    3. the actual use of physical force


    Further, federal criminal code had a catchall provision that expands the definitionof a crime of violence to include any felony crime that


    "by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense."


    This opens up the Prohibition from crimes with violence as an inherent element of the inchoate offense to crimes in which violence, although not an element of the crime itself, but to crimes in which the use of violence can be inferred.


    This makes the Prohibition very open ended and open to interpretation.


    Convictions under State law are brought into the federal Prohibition under (a)(2) if the crime under the state's penal code would fall under the federal definition of a crime of violence.


    In this case, the Texas State Prohibition is more expansive than the federal Prohibition in that if you are a FELON under Texas law . . You MAY NOT possess body armor. Under federal law, certain classes of felons may possess body armor.


    There is no law prohibiting or even addressing the wearing off body armor in the state of Texas.


    Therefore, you may not only purchase and possess body armor in the state of Texas, but you may wear it.




    Search 18 U.S.C. § 931 : US Code - Section 931: Prohibition on purchase, ownership, or possession of body armor by violent felons:
    (a) In General. - Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be unlawful for a person to purchase, own, or possess body armor, if that person has been convicted of a felony that is - (1) a crime of violence (as defined in section 16); or (2) an offense under State law that would constitute a crime of violence under paragraph (1) if it occurred within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.


    18 U.S. CODE § 16 - CRIME OF VIOLENCE DEFINED


    The term “crime of violence” means—


    (a) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or


    (b) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense.


    Sec. 46.041. UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF METAL OR BODY ARMOR BY FELON. (a) In this section, "metal or body armor" means any body covering manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of protecting a person against gunfire.
    (b) A person who has been convicted of a felony commits an offense if after the conviction the person possesses metal or body armor.
    (c) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree.


    Added by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 452, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.
     

    jbomb0311

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    I was wondering about this the other day. I like to shoot in full kit but being new to the area I didn't know if this was allowed. Good Read. Thanks for the info.
     

    cpileri

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    Does TX law define posesion as ownership? or control? of an object.

    If its "control" then no felon may borrow someone else's armor.

    If its "ownership" than a felon could wear but not own armor.

    To my not-a-lawyer way of thinking. So what do the legal eagles say?

    C-
     

    Sapper740

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    I'm not a lawyer or LEO so no definitive answers to any of the questions posed here but it seems to me that "intent" has a lot to do with legality. It's legal for a non-Felon to own Body Armor so no law is broken when worn but what if a non-Felon put on some body armor to rob a bank for the first time but was apprehended on the way to the bank because an informant had alerted LEO? The actor hadn't committed the crime yet, but he certainly intended to. Is he culpable? Along similar lines; OC of handguns is illegal in Texas yet LEO turns a blind eye to the many reenactors who OC pistols loaded with blanks at events. Is it because there is no "intent" to mis-use them?
     

    txinvestigator

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    Texas and federal law ban the possession, not ownership.

    A no felon wearing body armor to rob a bank is not a felon until convicted.

    Also, penal code 46.15 (b) makes 46.02 (unlawful carrying a weapon) not applicable to "(j) The provisions of Section 46.02 prohibiting the carrying of a handgun do not apply to an individual who carries a handgun as a participant in a historical reenactment performed in accordance with the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission."
     

    SC-Texas

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    Sapper,

    txinv has IT right. A nonfelon is just that. Until convicted.
     

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