Understanding Body Armor Laws in the United States and Canada

Body armor laws are crucial for both personal safety and legal compliance, governing the purchase, possession, and use of protective gear. In both the United States and Canada, individuals have the right to acquire body armor for personal protection within the confines of the respective legal frameworks.

In the United States, no federal laws prohibit law-abiding citizens over the age of 18 from purchasing or possessing general body armor. The federal law, 18 U.S.C.A. Section 931, does, however, restrict individuals convicted of violent crimes from acquiring body armor. Understanding this federal stance is fundamental, providing a basis for comprehending the variations and nuances in body armor regulations across different states.

Conversely, in Canada, while there are no federal laws that explicitly ban civilians from purchasing body armor the same goes for age restrictions, the regulations vary across provinces. Based on the province you may require to get/provide a valid PAL (Possession and Acquisition License) or RPAL (Restricted Possession and Acquisition License), prior to your purchase.

In both countries, wearing body armor during a crime will likely increase the severity of your sentence. We aren’t really hear to explore that more. Our goal is to provide information regarding state/province legislation connected to who can possess/buy body armor and how.


To stay transparent, we will explain how we compiled the information provided.

The information appearing on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice to any individual or entity.  We urge you to consult with your own legal counsel regarding the information appearing on this website and any website to which it may be linked. All clients should know and understand their own legal situation before trying to buy any body armor.