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OLR Research Report


October 26, 2009

 

2009-R-0401

BODY ARMOR AND CONNECTICUT LAW

By: Veronica Rose, Principal Analyst

You asked for a summary of Connecticut laws on body armor.

SUMMARY:

By law, it is a class A misdemeanor for anyone convicted of specific felonies or a serious juvenile offense to possess body armor. And, with some exceptions for law enforcement personnel and armed forces members, it is a class B misdemeanor to sell body armor without personally meeting the purchaser. The law defines “body armor” as material designed to be worn on the body and to provide bullet penetration resistance.

The original law was passed in 1998 (Public Act 98-127, June Special Session). Public Acts 05-3 and 06-119 broadened the exceptions in the law.

CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF BODY ARMOR

By law, it is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,000, or both, for anyone convicted of the following offenses to possess body armor.

1. a capital felony (death penalty case);

2. a class A felony other than employing a minor in an obscene performance;

3. a class B felony other than 1st degree promoting prostitution, 1st degree larceny, or promoting a minor in an obscene performance;

4. a class C felony other than 2nd degree promoting prostitution, bribery of a juror, or bribe receiving by a juror;

5. class D felonies of 2nd degree assault with or without a firearm, 2nd degree assault, with or without a firearm, of a victim over age 60, 3rd degree sexual assault with or without a firearm, 1st degree unlawful restraint, 3rd degree burglary with or without a firearm, reckless burning, 3rd degree robbery, or criminal use of a firearm or electronic defense weapon; or

6. a serious juvenile offense (CGS 53a-217d).

Over 50 crimes are listed as serious juvenile offenses. They include all class A, most class B, and many class C felonies. They also include drug crimes, bomb manufacturing, and several loan-shark-type offenses. Juveniles convicted of serious juvenile offenses face more severe consequences than other juveniles.

Illegal Sale of Body Armor

It is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for up to six months, a fine of up to $1,000, or both, to sell or deliver body armor unless the transferee meets in person with the transferor to accomplish the sale or delivery. The law exempts sales or deliveries to:

1. authorized officials or sworn members of local police departments, the State Police, the Division of Criminal Justice, the Department of Correction, or the Board or Pardons or Parole;

2. authorized municipal or Department of Administrative Services' officials who buy body armor for the above agencies;

3. authorized Judicial Branch officials who buy body armor for probation officers; and

4. members of the National Guard or armed forces (CGS 53-341b).

VR:ts