Navigating New York State's Recent Body Armor Regulations: What You Need to Know

Navigating New York State's Recent Body Armor Regulations: What You Need to Know

In 2022, New York State enacted Senate Bill S9407B, bringing about significant changes in the state's regulations governing body armor, or "body vests,". These legal alterations have far-reaching implications for civilians, law enforcement, and individuals in certain professions. This article will delve into the details of these new regulations, the impact they have on the purchase and sale of body vests, and how they affect residents across the entire state of New York.

Understanding the Changes

The recently enacted Senate Bill S9407B in New York State has brought about crucial alterations to the legal landscape regarding body armor. Here's a breakdown of the changes:

  1. Restricted Purchase and Sale: The new law effectively prevents the purchase and sale of soft body armor, commonly referred to as "body vests," to anyone except specific groups, which include law enforcement officers, members of the U.S. military, and individuals in select occupations, such as private security guards. 
  2. In-Person Transactions: One notable provision of the law mandates that all transactions involving the buying and selling of soft body armor must be conducted in person, regardless of the buyer's profession or status. This regulation ensures a higher level of scrutiny in such transactions.
  3. Exemption for Hard Armor: It's important to note that this ban on "body vests" specifically pertains to soft body armor designed to stop handgun calibers. This includes the type of protection often referred to as a bulletproof vest. Notably, the law does not affect hard armor intended to protect against rifle fire.
  4. Enhanced Measures Against Criminal Possession: New York had previous laws in place that penalized criminals for wearing body armor while committing a crime. The new legislation reflects a broader effort to prevent criminal possession of body armor.

The Statewide Impact

It's crucial to understand that these new regulations affect not only the bustling streets of New York City but the entire state of New York. This means that residents across the state need to be aware of the changes, regardless of their location.


The 2022 changes to New York State's body armor regulations represent a significant shift in who can purchase and possess soft body armor, commonly known as "body vests." While the law seeks to prevent criminal misuse of this type of armor, it also has implications for law-abiding citizens who may have used it for personal protection.

With the ban on soft body armor, individuals who rely on it for personal safety, such as taxi drivers, may need to explore alternative forms of protection. It's important to stay informed about the latest regulations and ensure compliance with the law. If you have any questions or concerns about the impact of these regulations on your profession or personal safety, we advise you to consult with legal authorities or experts who can provide guidance on the changes in body armor laws throughout New York State.