NEWS RELEASE · 30th June 2010
Min. Public Safety & Sol. Gen.
Canada's first act that restricts the sale and possession of body armour comes into effect tomorrow. The Body Armour Control Act is part of Premier Gordon Campbell's seven-point plan to tackle gang and gun violence announced last year.
Under the new rules, anyone who wants to possess or sell body armour must have a permit or licence, and applicants must undergo a mandatory criminal record check. Police now have the authority to seize body armour from those not authorized to possess it.
Individuals and businesses who currently own or sell body armour have six months from July 1, 2010, to obtain the necessary permit or licence. Individuals found in contravention of the act can be fined up to $10,000, and businesses up to $100,000. Jail terms of up to six months are possible.
Individuals who are required to wear body armour due to the nature of their jobs will not need to hold a permit. These positions include police officers, sheriffs, corrections officers, conservation officers, armoured car guards, security guards, security consultants and private investigators.
Individuals who do not reside in B.C., but while working in B.C. are required to wear body armour, or any individual in B.C. who believes their safety is at imminent risk, may apply to the security services registrar for a special 90-day permit exemption.
In February 2009, Premier Gordon Campbell announced a comprehensive seven-point plan to combat gangs and guns in B.C., including more police officers, more prosecutors, more jails and tougher laws. Since that announcement, 207 organized crime and gang members have been arrested and charged with approximately 420 serious offences.