Whitney Tipton on August 12, 2019
Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer announced plans Sunday to introduce a bill requiring the FBI to approve body armor sales to civilians.
The legislation would establish approval standards overseen by the FBI for civilians to purchase body armor, which includes bulletproof vests, which the gunman wore in the Dayton, Ohio, mass shooting which killed nine people on Aug. 4, the New York Post reported.
“What we have learned is that a good number of those intent on mass shootings buy body armor,” Schumer said in a press conference. “They want to kill as many people as possible.”
The legislation, which Schumer said he is drafting, would mean that anyone except law enforcement would have to pass an FBI background check similar to one passed for firearm purchases.
Reports say Dayton shooter Connor Betts was clad in body armor when he gunned down nine people before police killed him on Aug. 4.
Current law allows for everyone except convicted criminals to purchase bulletproof vests in-person, online or by phone everywhere except Connecticut, which requires in-person purchases only.
Bulletproof vests can be purchased for $185, and a tactical mask can be added for $10, for anyone other than convicted criminals, according to Schumer.
Convicted criminals have been prohibited from buying body armor since a federal law was passed in 2002. Violations are punishable by up to three years in prison.
“If [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell would bring that bill to pass the house bipartisan to the floor, it would pass in my judgement,” Schumer added. “This is the most important and immediate thing we can do.”