ALBANY – Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson (D-Newburgh) is introducing two bills designed to curtail the use of bullet-proof vests by criminals.
One first bill would ban the purchase or possession of bullet-proof vests by anyone other than law enforcement officers and those in a very limited number of professions such as a licensed security guard or licensed armored car driver.
The other legislation bill would make the wearing of a bullet-proof vest illegal in the commission of any crime. The law now applies only to the wearing of bullet-proof vests during the commission of a violent crime while possessing a firearm.
“Unless you are actively working in law enforcement or in a handful of occupations, there is no legitimate reason to purchase or own a bullet-proof vest. Bullet-proof vests are necessary to protect those whose professions put them at risk of injury. Otherwise, bullet-proof vests are used by those hoping to protect themselves while committing crimes,” said Jacobson.
The first bill will make the unlawful purchase or possession of a bullet-proof vest a misdemeanor for a first offense and a felony for any subsequent offenses.
The second bill will ensure that any person convicted of any misdemeanor or felony while wearing a bullet-proof vest will serve a second, consecutive sentence for the possession of a bullet-proof vest on top of the sentence for the underlying crime.
“I was shocked to learn that anyone can own or buy a bullet-proof vest in New York State. The shooter in Dayton wore a bullet-proof vest. We must ban the purchase and ownership of bullet-proof vests except in very limited circumstances,” he said.
The freshman lawmaker is hopeful his measures would be passed in next year’s legislative session.