Chapter 3. Body Armor of California Penal Code >> Division 10. >> Title 4. >> Part 6. >> Chapter 3.
No body armor shall be acquired by the commissioner pursuant
to Section 2259.5 of the Vehicle Code unless, pursuant to
subdivision (a) of Section 31315, the Department of Justice has
certified the body armor.
(a) Before any body armor may be purchased for use by state
peace officers, the Department of Justice, after consultation with
the Department of the California Highway Patrol, shall establish
minimum ballistic performance standards, and shall determine that the
armor satisfies those standards.
(b) Only body armor that meets state requirements under
subdivision (a) for acquisition or purchase shall be eligible for
testing for certification under the ballistic performance standards
established by the Department of Justice.
(c) Only body armor that is certified as acceptable by the
department shall be purchased for use by state peace officers.
(a) Any person engaged in the manufacture or sale of body
armor may apply to the Department of Justice for certification that a
particular type of body armor manufactured or sold by that person is
(b) The applicant shall reimburse the state for any actual
expenses incurred by the state in testing and certifying a particular
type of body armor.
Any application submitted pursuant to Section 31320 shall
contain all of the following:
(a) Full written reports of any investigation conducted for the
purpose of determining whether the body armor is acceptable.
(b) A full written statement of the design of the body armor.
(c) A full written statement of the methods used in, and the
facilities and controls used for, the manufacture of the body armor.
(d) Any samples of the body armor and its components as the
Department of Justice may require.
(e) Specimens of the instructions and advertisements used or
proposed to be used for the body armor.
The Department of Justice, in cooperation with the office of
procurement of the Department of General Services, shall establish a
schedule for ballistic testing for certification pursuant to
subdivision (b) of Section 31315.
The Department of Justice shall issue an order refusing to
certify a body armor as acceptable if, after due notice to the
applicant, the department finds any of the following:
(a) That the body armor does not satisfy the ballistic performance
standards established by the department pursuant to subdivision (b)
of Section 31315.
(b) That the application contains any misrepresentation of a
(c) That the application is materially incomplete.
(d) That the applicant has failed to reimburse the state as
required by Section 31320.
The Department of Justice shall issue an order revoking
certification of a body armor if, after due notice to the applicant,
the department finds any of the following:
(a) The experience or additional testing show that the body armor
does not comply with the department's ballistic performance
(b) The application contains any misrepresentation of a material
(c) The body armor must be retested for certification under new
(a) All purchases of certified body armor under the
provisions of this chapter shall be made by the Department of General
Services on behalf of an authorized state agency or department.
Purchases of body armor shall be based upon written requests
submitted by an authorized state agency or department to the
Department of General Services.
(b) The Department of General Services shall make certified body
armor available to peace officers of the Department of Justice, as
defined by Section 830.3, while engaged in law enforcement
The Department of General Services shall, pursuant to
departmental regulation, after consultation with the Department of
the California Highway Patrol, define the term "enforcement
activities" for purposes of this chapter, and develop standards
regarding what constitutes sufficient wear on body armor to
necessitate replacement of the body armor.
The Department of Justice shall adopt and promulgate
regulations for the fair and efficient enforcement of this chapter.
(a) A person who has been convicted of a violent felony
under the laws of the United States, the State of California, or any
other state, government, or country, who purchases, owns, or
possesses body armor, as defined in Section 16288, except as
authorized under subdivision (b), is guilty of a felony, punishable
by imprisonment in state prison for 16 months, or two or three years.
(b) A person whose employment, livelihood, or safety is dependent
on the ability to legally possess and use body armor, who is subject
to the prohibition imposed by subdivision (a) due to a prior violent
felony conviction, may file a petition for an exception to this
prohibition with the chief of police or county sheriff of the
jurisdiction in which that person seeks to possess and use the body
armor. The chief of police or sheriff may reduce or eliminate the
prohibition, impose conditions on reduction or elimination of the
prohibition, or otherwise grant relief from the prohibition as the
chief of police or sheriff deems appropriate, based on the following:
(1) A finding that the petitioner is likely to use body armor in a
safe and lawful manner.
(2) A finding that the petitioner has a reasonable need for this
type of protection under the circumstances.
In making its decision, the chief of police or sheriff shall
consider the petitioner's continued employment, the interests of
justice, any relevant evidence, and the totality of the
circumstances. It is the intent of the Legislature that law
enforcement officials exercise broad discretion in fashioning
appropriate relief under this paragraph in cases in which relief is
warranted. However, this paragraph may not be construed to require
law enforcement officials to grant relief to any particular
petitioner. Relief from this prohibition does not relieve any other
person or entity from any liability that might otherwise be imposed.
(c) The chief of police or sheriff shall require, as a condition
of granting an exception under subdivision (b), that the petitioner
agree to maintain on the petitioner's person a certified copy of the
law enforcement official's permission to possess and use body armor,
including any conditions or limitations.
(d) Law enforcement officials who enforce the prohibition
specified in subdivision (a) against a person who has been granted
relief pursuant to subdivision (b), shall be immune from any
liability for false arrest arising from the enforcement of this
subdivision unless the person has in possession a certified copy of
the permission granting the person relief from the prohibition, as
required by subdivision (c). This immunity from liability does not
relieve any person or entity from any other liability that might
otherwise be imposed.