If you are a proud owner of body armor, it pays to know when and where you can wear it or bring it along. A large part of this is knowing the legalities and restrictions of traveling with it as well. Luckily, there are not as many rules in regards to traveling with your body armor as you would think. […]

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If you are a proud owner of body armor, it pays to know when and where you can wear it or bring it along. A large part of this is knowing the legalities and restrictions of traveling with it as well. Luckily, there are not as many rules in regards to traveling with your body armor as you would think. There are, of course, some things that you should know before you intend to travel with your body armor!

Travelling with body armor – Domestic US Travels

When it comes to traveling across the United States, you really have nothing to worry about when it comes to your body armor. Since it is legal in all 50 states, driving across state lines will not be a problem. You may, however, encounter some headaches when it comes to flying. Every airline is different and they may have some special restrictions on what they will allow you to fly with. In order to avoid any problems, go have a look on their website in order to find a list of the prohibited items and what you can do in order to fly with it.

Travelling internationally with body armor

Traveling internationally with body armor can be tricky. In order to bring your protective gear, one must first check the country you’re traveling in and if they allow civilians possession or wear of such equipment for personal use. If you plan on visiting multiple countries, make sure not to wear body armor in any of the other countries. Each country has its own rules and regulations for this kind of thing so it’s important that before traveling abroad with your gear be aware how each place deals with such matters- especially if they conflict!

Body armor is a great way to keep yourself safe while out in public, but it should be noted that some countries do not allow such items. It’s important for you as well see if your body armors falls under one category or more before purchasing them so they can’t get you into any trouble with customs at the time of importation! Assuming you have the correct visa, a few extra steps may be needed to bring or wear body armor. For example in most European countries it is illegal for non-military personnel without special permission from authorities.

Tactical vest with pouches
Travelling with bulletproof vest can be tricky.

ITAR and EAR Regulations

Two important regulations to be aware of are ITAR and EAR, which stand for International Traffic in Arms Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations. Certain body armor, whether they are ceramic or composite, do fall under the jurisdiction of ITAR and are subject to export laws by the U.S. government. In a nutshell, however, EAR applies for level 3A and level 3 armor, while ITAR applies for level 4 armor.

Carrying Your Own Body Armor vs Selling Body Armor Abroad

Carrying and being able to wear your own personal body armor is also very different from selling your body armor while abroad. While the laws of a certain area may allow you to possess it, there may be different laws that actually prohibit you from selling it. For example, traveling with your personal body armor is allowed if reported when leaving the country, but business sales and shipping are only allowed with the proper exporting license. Again, make sure you are up to date on all of the current laws and regulations as they can be different depending on how you intend to use your body armor while traveling!

Traveling With Body Armor Within Your State

While most people worry about traveling with their body armor when going to other countries or states, some may wonder if it is alright to travel with it within their own state. While every state is different (and you should carefully read and understand the laws of your own state beforehand) you do not have to worry about any problems traveling within your own state. This implies that the local laws allow it too, as you should be aware of any county or city laws that prohibit it as well. Of course, private residences and businesses can create their own rules and can prohibit body armor on their property.

Overseas Body Armor Manufacturers

While body armor is subject to a few more rules and regulations when compared to other products, it is still manufactured in many places overseas and shipped to the United States.

Embargo Countries

It only makes sense that there are embargo countries where body armor is not allowed to be sold or bought. In the United States, there are embargo countries under both EAR and ITAR, which include places like Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, and Somalia. You cannot buy or sell body armor to or from these countries, and there are special rules and regulations regarding the trade of similar products from these countries.

bulletproof vest with plates
Exportation of hard armor plates falls under EAR or ITAR regulations.

Get a Lawyer When in Doubt

At the end of the day, if you ever have any doubts or questions when it comes to the legality of your body armor, you should consult your lawyer. This goes for any questions or concerns about traveling, crossing state lines, or wearing your body armor in certain places. They will be able to better help you understand the laws as it pertains to your body armor. This can be especially helpful if you intend to travel to multiple countries or intend to buy or sell body armor in other places.

Person wearing plate carrier
Consult Your Lawyer When In Doubts.

Final Thoughts

Traveling with body armor can seem a little tricky at first, but with a little bit of research, you can know the laws and rules that you should be aware of. Body armor is useless if you do not have it with you, so it pays to know the rules and bring it along with you whenever you travel. You might actually be surprised at just how easy it really is to travel with your body armor as well! 

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