In a move that has angered some police and advocacy groups, the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Los Angeles overturned a law banning the possession of body armor by violent felons. According to the LA Times, the reason for the reversal was not the actual law but the wording of it. As written, the law was said to be vague and difficult to interpret.
The law was intended to prevent violent shoot outs, particularly with police. It was written following the well publicized shoot out in North Hollywood back in 1997. This particular incident, which went on for hours, involved two bank robbers and injured several officers and civilians.
While the attorney arguing the unconstitutionality of the law is said to have not necessarily disagreed with the “spirit of the law”, he claimed “The Legislature did a botched job. They took a shortcut,” when referring to how the law was originally written.
The ban on body armor is listed in the California statutes as a weapons offense. All weapons laws are intended to keep communities safer and allow law enforcement to act safely in the preservation of order. Being charged with any weapons offense will give you a first-hand look into how the legal system looks down on reckless or illegal use of weapons.
More than likely this case will move on to the Supreme Court. Eventually, I see the ban being rewritten in a clearer, more concise language. But until further action is taken, wearing body armor is no more illegal than wearing mismatched socks, though it will probably garner some negative attention from police.
If you are facing weapons charges within the state of California, you are right to be concerned about the repercussions it might have on your life. Contacting a defense attorney as soon as possible is a step in the right direction.
Contact me today to see how your actions early in the case can potentially affect the outcome.