New York State Bans Body Armor, But It May Not Make A Real Difference
If the man who committed the horrific mass shooting in Buffalo did not wear body armor, the outcome may have been different. Peyton Gendron, who traveled from over 200 miles away with the intention of killing Black people stormed the Tops Friendly Market on Jefferson Avenue. Wearing body armor, he proceeded to shoot a few victims outside of the store. A retired Buffalo Police Officer, Aaron Salter, who was working as a security guard at the store, tried to take out Peyton. Had Peyton not been wearing body armor, Salter's weapon may have injured or killed Peyton, stopping him from taking more lives. But that was not the case. The shots that Salter fired were unable to penetrate the armor and Salter was killed when Peyton fired back.
Buying body armor is now illegal for most New Yorkers
On Monday, June 6, 2022, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation that makes it illegal for most people in the state to buy body armor.
Legislation S.9407-B/A.10497 makes it illegal to purchase and sell body vests for anyone who is not engaged in an eligible profession. Eligible professions include law enforcement officers and other professions, which will be designated by the Department of State in consultation with other agencies. It also requires that all body vest sales are completed in-person.
Will banning body armor make a difference?
To be clear, any life saved by making body armor illegal does make a difference. Statistically, however, it may not make a dent. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's report on active shooters in 2021, only two used body armor. The total number of active shooters last year was 61, so just 3.27% of them used body armor.
Gov. Hochul also signed a law to raise the age to buy semiautomatic weapons,
Legislation S.9458/A.10503 requires individuals to obtain a license prior to purchasing a semiautomatic rifle. Under preexisting New York State law, individuals must be 21 years or older to acquire a gun license.
Which also, statistically speaking, doesn't make a huge impact. The reason is that most of the 61 active shooters in 2021 did not use semi auto weapons and the majority were not under the age of 21.
In a recent report by the FBI, the agency said that the age range of the 61 active shooters in 2021 was 12-years-old to 67-years-old.
Of the 61, at least 45 or more than two-thirds, were age 25 or older. Only 16 active shooters were under the age of 25. Of the 16 shooters under the age of 25-years-old, only five were younger than 21. Even if each of those 5 under the age of 21-years-old used an assault rifle, that's still less than 10 percent of active shooters in 2021 that would have been 'stopped' in theory, by increasing the age. Changing the age to purchase an assault weapon, statistically may not make much of a difference.
The main type of gun used in the 61 active shooter incidents in 2021 were handguns, not assault rifles. Here is an approximate breakdown of the guns used (certain shooters used multiple weapons, so there are more than 61), according to the FBI's report:
Semi-Automatic Rifle - 1
Shotgun - 4
Gun (unspecified) - 7
Rifle - 11
Handgun - 53
Of the 5 active shooters under the age of 21, here's a breakdown of the types of guns the FBI report says they used:
Age 12 - Handgun (3 injured)
In May, a female sixth-grader brought a handgun to Rigby Middle and shot two students and an adult staff member at the school.
Age 15 - Handgun (4 killed, 7 injured)
A 9 mm SIG Sauer SP 2022 semi-automatic handgun and at least two 15-round magazines were recovered from Crumbley, while a third magazine was found at the school. Bouchard said James Crumbley had purchased the gun under his name from a local shop on Black Friday, four days prior to the shooting.
Age 19 - Two assault rifles (8 killed, 7 injured)
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed on Saturday that two assault rifles used in Thursday’s mass shooting were purchased legally by the shooter in 2020.
Age 19 - Rifle (1 killed, 12 injured)
According to court documents, Tricarico went to Cabela's to buy four boxes of ammunition for the rifle before the shootings. Surprise Police recovered an AR-15 in the Volkwagen when they arrested him outside of a church.
Age 19 - Handgun (1 killed, 1 wounded)
Officers found a black 9 mm handgun with swastikas and other white supremacist markings on the weapon found laying next to Ingalls' body after the pier shooting. Ingalls threw a pellet gun into the river before killing himself, police said.
Why are assault rifles legal?
If we really want to stop deranged people from using assault weapons to kill people, why do we allow the common man, someone not in the military or the defense industry to buy an assault rifle in the first place? No one is hunting with an assault rifle. Let me say it louder for the people in the back, NO ONE IS HUNTING WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE.