Body Armour Control Act (Details)

Name of province/ territory:


City/ Region:


Description of Initiative:

Gang-related crime is a serious issue in Alberta and the increase in gang-related violence has resulted in heightened concern over public safety. Because of the inherently dangerous nature of the gang lifestyle, gang members often wear bullet-resistant vests (body armour) when they engage in various forms of criminal activity, including drug trafficking and drive-by shootings. A number of these individuals will even wear body armour while in public, creating a general feeling of unease and fear in the community.

To address this issue, the Alberta Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General introduced the Body Armour Control Act in June 2012. The Act requires anyone acquiring body armour to obtain a permit by December 15, 2012, or dispose of the body armour. After this six-month period, the possession of body armour without a permit became a chargeable offence.

Initiative Key Objectives:

The objective was to decrease the potential for violence in public settings by depriving criminals of the sense of security that would naturally accompany the wearing of body armour.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

Safer Communities Secretariat

Key Contact:

Matthew Barker

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • other police services

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):

Consultative in development of legislation. Police conduct enforcement under the Act.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

Since June 15, 2012.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:

The reasons for undertaking the initiative were related to public safety.

Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

The implementation costs were minimal and were accommodated in the existing budget. Implementing the permit system was low-cost, as it ‘piggy backed’ off existing government processes in place for the security industry.

Method of Implementation:

The Act was proclaimed as of the set date. On proclamation the purchasing of body armor required a permit. Six months after proclamation possessing body armour without a permit became a chargeable offence. The six-month implementation period provided time for those in possession to dispose of the armor or get a permit.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

Will require period of time to determine effectiveness.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

Public safety, targeting gangs.

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • internal

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:


Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:

Work to prevent gang violence in communities.

Additional Comments or Suggestions:


Record Entry Date:


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