AB 92 aims to update restrictions on body armor sale and use for anyone already ineligible to legally own a firearm.
- Aaron Vad
- Chief of Staff
- (916) 319-2012
SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Damon Connolly (D-San Rafael) successfully passed Assembly Bill (AB) 92 out of the State Legislature. This bill will now head to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk, where it will be considered to be officially signed into law. Should this bill be approved by the Governor, AB 92 will strengthen restrictions on purchases of body armor to ensure any individual who is already prohibited by California statute to possess a firearm cannot purchase or possess body armor. In recent years, violent criminals and perpetrators of mass shootings have increasingly used body armor, such as steel-plated bullet proof vests, to prolong violent rampages and gain an advantage on law enforcement. AB 92 serves to protect peace officers, emergency personnel, first responders, and community members who could become an innocuous bystander to an act of violence.
“Restricting body armor purchase to only those eligible to own a firearm is a measure that will strengthen public safety for all Californians,” said Assemblymember Connolly (D-San Rafael). “Body armor in the wrong hands, particularly perpetrators of mass shootings, have shown to help prolong violent rampages and threaten the safety of innocent bystanders and first responders. AB 92 is a common sense measure that will enhance public safety and address a key factor contributing to the worsening gun violence epidemic.”
Over the past decade, body armor vests have become an increasingly common tool worn by mass shooters, such as in a Boulder supermarket attack in 2021 that killed ten; the Sutherland Springs church shooting in 2017 that killed 26; the San Bernardino shooting in 2015 that killed 16; and the movie theater shooting in Aurora in 2012 that killed 12. Just last year, an 18-year old mass shooter in Buffalo, New York wore a plate vest that could absorb automatic weapon fire. Security guard and retired law enforcement officer Aaron Salter fired at the shooter, but did not penetrate his armor. Salter’s bullet may have stopped him if the shooter did not have a vest; instead, Salter, a retired police officer, was killed in their exchange - allowing the shooter to continue and take the lives of ten innocent civilians.
AB 92 is an update to the existing legislation that states it is a felony for a person who has been convicted of a violent felony to purchase, own, or possess body armor. This bill will extend the existing legislation to include persons subject to a Gun Violence Restraining Order, persons convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, any person convicted of domestic violence, and any person making threats to commit a crime that results in death. These restrictions exclude minors and any individual presenting a successful petition to local law enforcement proving that body armor is necessary for their employment, livelihood, or safety.
After a successful passage through the State Legislature, AB 92 now awaits a decision from the Governor.
Assemblymember Connolly represents Assembly District 12, consisting of Marin County and Southern Sonoma County.