AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Chuck Schumer isn’t known for his support of the Second Amendment. He’s a gun-grabber from way back, after all.
However, right now he’s got his sights set on something else entirely. You see, since a number of mass shooters of late have worn body armor, Sen. Schumer feels it would be best if we private citizens had to go to the FBI, hat in hand, and ask pretty please before we purchase armor for personal use.
Sen. Chuck Schumer on Sunday proposed new legislation to require the FBI to sign off on body armor sales to civilians.
Schumer said anyone can now buy a bulletproof vest for $185 and a tactical mask for $10 under current law, Schumer said at a press conference at his Midtown office.
“With the click of a mouse, scroll of a thumb, dialing of a phone, someone up to no good can get this,” he said. “What we have learned is that a good number of those intent on mass shootings buy body armor,” the Senate minority leader said. “They want to kill as many people as possible.”
The restrictions would not apply to law enforcement personnel.
Schumer said he’ll submit the new proposed law when congress reconvenes in September.
Schumer also renewed his calls for universal background checks, which would have done jack squat to prevent either of last weekend’s attacks.
However, the body armor issue is what I want to focus on right now.
You see, body armor has no offensive use. None at all. It’s a purely defensive measure, something a lot of people have as a “just in case” kind of thing. The body armor industry is fairly large, yet we don’t hear a lot about criminals wearing armor. That’s because it’s law-abiding citizens supporting these companies with their patronage.
What Schumer wants to do is add a background check into the process. While those words weren’t used, that’s pretty much the only reason to involve the FBI.
Undoubtedly, there will be some who argue that there’s no reason at all for private citizens to have armor, but that betrays their ignorance of the issue. Body armor is routinely worn during firearms training such as close-quarters battle training. In other words, if you go to a class where you’re learning to fight inside of a room, there’s a good chance you’ll be required to wear body armor. This is as a safety measure since accidents can happen and you’re in a 360-degree shooting environment. While care can be taken, stuff happens. The armor is there to protect the student.
Of course, that’s just one reason why someone might be wearing armor. Still, other cases include civil unrest following a hurricane or tornado when the lawless are doing whatever they want. Being protected makes sense.
Plus, let’s not forget that the term “body armor” also refers to the concealed armor that many people wear for their protection, especially in higher-risk jobs like bail enforcement and private investigations.
What Schumer is proposing would make life more difficult for all of those people, and for what? There’s no indication that either the El Paso killer or the Dayton killer would have been denied.
Besides, it’s already illegal for criminals to buy armor, but they do it. The FBI has to sign off on people buying guns from licensed dealers, yet we still see criminals getting their hands on those as well. What reason is there to believe this will accomplish anything?
And that’s par for the course when it comes to legislation supported by Schumer.