Who can and who is buying body armor and why?
MEDINA, Ohio (WOIO) - It was initially reported that the school shooter in Uvalde, Texas had entered the school and opened fire while wearing body armor, certainly creating the impression that he was ready to keep firing for as long as possible, but follow up reports now suggest that the shooter did not have armor in the pouches of his vest.
But the reality is that other mass shooters have been outfitted with body armor that, in some cases, is not all that difficult to purchase.
At Firestorm Gear in Medina, Owner Dan Stilla said he reserves the right to deny a sale of body armor to any customer.
“If anybody walks in off the street, especially if it’s someone I haven’t dealt with before or is acting erratically, they are not walking out of my store with body armor,” he said.
Stilla said that while there are no federal or Ohio state regulations regarding the sale of body armor, some body armor companies who are very careful about protecting their brand require stores to check for company-approved IDs before allowing a sale.
As you may expect, the majority of body armor customers at Firestorm are police officers or others in the law enforcement sector.
But many are surprised to learn that there are quite a few customers who work in the service sector.
Stilla sees a fair share of utility workers, including line workers, gas company employees, even employees from cable companies who buy the gear to stay protected.
“It’s not only for being fired at. It’s also for stab protection if they are going to be held up,” he said, “I’ve had some utility workers come in who have been held up, either on a pole or in front of a house while working.”
A basic vest with body armor plates can cost anywhere from $500 to $700.
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