Body Armour Control Act (Synopsis)

Justice and Solicitor General

Description: 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 unless they are exempted (e.g., police officers). Anyone already possessing body armour was required to obtain a permit by December 15, 2012, or dispose of the body armour. After this initial six-month period, the possession of body armour without a permit became a chargeable offence.
Objective: The objective of the Body Armour Control Act is 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.
Outcomes: N/A
Resources: Police services were consulted in the development of this legislation, given their enforcement role under the Act. The permit system did not require significant resources because it was implemented through existing processes in place for the security industry.
Province: Alberta
Record Entry Date: 2013-08-01
Date modified: