Wearing body armor to the gun range?


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Isaac-1
December 6, 2012, 05:32 PM
Just wondering what your thoughts are on wearing body armor (concealed or not) to the gun range? Is it prudent or paranoid? I ask while thinking back on a recent visit to a local handgun range where there were a number newbies learning to shoot, often from people that had no business teaching them.

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Magoo
December 6, 2012, 05:41 PM
If you feel the need to wear body armor anywhere, and are not required to do so as LEO or active miltary, I think it's best to avoid said place altogether.

grubbylabs
December 6, 2012, 05:50 PM
What Magoo said

Sam1911
December 6, 2012, 05:51 PM
We discuss this somewhat regularly. A place with a lot of new folks trying to learn on their own certainly can make you wonder about your safety.

Fortunately, firearm accidents are still very, very uncommon, and serious injuries at firing ranges are even less common. This isn't a war zone, nor a felony arrest -- no one's actually targeting you, so the risk is pretty low.

I'd say more "paranoid" than "prudent."

Old Shooter
December 6, 2012, 05:58 PM
Hearing protection....check
eye protection.........check
body armor..............find someplace else to shoot.

taliv
December 6, 2012, 06:03 PM
if it's just a regular square shooting range, no, i wouldn't even consider armor.

if it's a "shoot house" or some training circumstance, then body armor may be a requirement and would certainly be prudent. i would not view this training by respected trainers as something to avoid.

Isaac-1
December 6, 2012, 06:07 PM
Maybe I am a bit more prudent than most when it comes to gun accidents, one of my grandfathers was killed in a hunting accident, this is part of the reason I brought up the subject. He was shooting at a squirrel in his backyard with a pump action .22 (Winchester model 61) had a hang fire ejected the round and it blew up in his face, he died 3 days later in the hospital from the infection (he was also on Chemo at the time). As to the know when to be somewhere else, that is valid too, a couple of years ago I was out target shooting with a relative by marriage, he was using a Ruger 10-22, using cheap ammo that kept misfiring, he was ejecting right away to get back to shooting, so I told him the above story, the second time he immediately ejected a round after me telling him the story I decided it was time to leave and never to go shooting with him again.

Hapworth
December 6, 2012, 06:09 PM
Likely never needed -- but if it makes you more comfortable, do it. You're not wrong to be concerned about a lot of unknown, in many cases inexperienced shooters blasting away around you, especially if it's a public range.

Skribs
December 6, 2012, 06:13 PM
Another factor is that if part of your defensive strategy involves body armor (i.e. you keep it in the closet next to your rifle), then wearing it to the gun range would let you practice with it on.

3twelves
December 6, 2012, 06:18 PM
Ricochet's can happen also if you shoot steel.

Neo-Luddite
December 6, 2012, 06:22 PM
If you feel the need to wear armor for protection---shoot elsewhere.

If, however, you wanted to wear your gear to make for a better and more true to conditions practice--good idea.

psyopspec
December 6, 2012, 07:11 PM
I would sometimes wear mine during the winter since it added a layer of warmth and peace of mind, though I never considered it a necessity. This was concealable soft armor I wore while working as a security guard.

Stress_Test
December 6, 2012, 08:25 PM
Last trip at the (unsupervised) range, after seeing a woman walking around behind the shooting benches carrying a small revolver, finger wrapped around the trigger, body armor didn't seem like a bad idea at the time! Be my luck though that I'd get it in the head and the armor would be a moot point.

She may have been doing that the whole time I was there but I didn't notice till I was packing up to leave. It made me pack a little faster!

Sergei Mosin
December 6, 2012, 08:33 PM
If I saw somebody other than a uniformed police officer wearing body armor to the range - or anywhere else - I would leave. Normal people don't wear body armor in public. If your range is so unsafe that you need to wear body armor, you need to find a different range.

PedalBiker
December 6, 2012, 08:35 PM
I got a shard in the belly shooting pock marked steel. Body armor would have helped there, but I'd hate to have it in my sinuses.

I regularly wear helmets while biking, skiing and kayaking. Kayaking is the only sport where my helmet was regularly tested, but I've had to retire a bike helmet due to road damage as well.

If you have it it doesn't do any good at home.

akodo
December 6, 2012, 08:35 PM
wearing body armor for fear of newbies = no

wearing body armor because you own it, and it is good to know how to shoot in in while wearing it? = yes

USAF_Vet
December 6, 2012, 08:38 PM
If I saw somebody other than a uniformed police officer wearing body armor to the range - or anywhere else - I would leave. Normal people don't wear body armor in public. If your range is so unsafe that you need to wear body armor, you need to find a different range.
Fear of what you consider to be not normal, huh? :rolleyes: If only those pesky open carriers would just hide their guns like 'normal' folk, we wouldn't have to see those scary guns. Sounds like progress to me.

I don't always wear my personal body armor, but I do train with it from time to time as it is a part of my home defense set up. If that causes someone to leave the range, good. More room for me and less to deal with.

Teachu2
December 6, 2012, 08:41 PM
If someone makes you nervous, move. I've done that a couple of times, and once returned to help get the idiot stop the bleeding.

Grandpa died of an infection, a complication of chemo, not the "gun accident". He could have cut himself shaving, with the same result.

I've seen peple show up at the range with armor, and I pack up and leave. They are the goofyest bunch of clowns I've seen since Star Trek conventions quit coming to town...

TimeRegained
December 6, 2012, 08:45 PM
This is where a mother would say you've seen too many movies.

GCBurner
December 6, 2012, 08:50 PM
Some of the range officers at the defensive pistol and steel matches wear it. I've seen a couple of negligent discharges and muzzle sweeping of the bystanders from time to time from new shooters, so I don't blame them. Bullet fragments do fly, especially when shooting at steel, but the only person I've seen that got hit and had to seek treatment got a piece of a splattered bullet in the side of his neck, so body armor wouldn't have helped. I don't wear a vest, but I do pack a QuickClot trauma kit in my range bag, just in case.

The Lone Haranguer
December 6, 2012, 08:51 PM
If you feel the need to wear armor for protection---shoot elsewhere.

If, however, you wanted to wear your gear to make for a better and more true to conditions practice--good idea.

Agreed.

leadcounsel
December 6, 2012, 09:17 PM
If you think.... blah blah blah.

If you think you'll need a seatbelt in your car on the way to the range, you shouldn't drive there!

I think it's prudent and wouldn't question someone wearing body armor at the range. I don't always but sometimes do.

Bottom line is that accidents do happen. If you have a light vest, why not? Also, it' helps you test your own gear.

Warp
December 6, 2012, 09:21 PM
Just wondering what your thoughts are on wearing body armor (concealed or not) to the gun range? Is it prudent or paranoid? I ask while thinking back on a recent visit to a local handgun range where there were a number newbies learning to shoot, often from people that had no business teaching them.

I don't have any body armour yet, but as soon as I get some, you might see me wearing it to the range.

M-Cameron
December 6, 2012, 09:23 PM
blah blah blah.

If you think you'll need a seatbelt in your car on the way to the range, you shouldn't drive there!

I think it's prudent and wouldn't question someone wearing body armor at the range. I don't always but sometimes do.

Bottom line is that accidents do happen. If you have a light vest, why not? Also, it' helps you test your own gear.

if car accidents happened with the same frequency as accidental range shootings...i dont think ide honestly bother to wear a seat belt.

you cant really compare car accidents to range shootings, as car accidents kill millions of people each year.....and range shootings kill maybe a few hundred.

Warp
December 6, 2012, 09:28 PM
if car accidents happened with the same frequency as accidental range shootings...i dont think ide honestly bother to wear a seat belt.

you cant really compare car accidents to range shootings, as car accidents kill millions of people each year.....and range shootings kill maybe a few hundred.

I would very much like to see a citation for this number.

You do realize that in the United States the number is on the order of 40,000 or so, right?

Also keep in mind that the number of people who get into a car every day is much MUCH greater than the number of people who go to a shooting range.

Sergei Mosin
December 6, 2012, 09:30 PM
Fear of what you consider to be not normal, huh? :rolleyes: If only those pesky open carriers would just hide their guns like 'normal' folk, we wouldn't have to see those scary guns. Sounds like progress to me.

I don't always wear my personal body armor, but I do train with it from time to time as it is a part of my home defense set up. If that causes someone to leave the range, good. More room for me and less to deal with.

Unusual behaviors cause concern. Reactions will vary depending on the behavior and the person observing it. A person unknown to me, not in uniform, and wearing body armor in public is sufficiently unusual behavior that I'd want to put as much distance as possible between myself and that person as possible. Generally speaking, people wear body armor when they're expecting trouble, and I don't want to be around when trouble happens, so I'm leaving. That's one unusual behavior and one person's reaction to it.

Now maybe if I shot at a range frequented by people who trained in body armor I'd have a different outlook - at least at that range. It might be normal behavior there. But I don't see those kinds of people at the ranges around here, so it would be a cause for concern.

Open carry doesn't bother me. Different behavior, different reaction.

M-Cameron
December 6, 2012, 09:30 PM
I would VERY much like to see a citation for this number.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

PBR Streetgang
December 6, 2012, 09:33 PM
We required all of our firearms instructors teaching at our police academy to wear them while on the firing line with the recruits......

zorro45
December 6, 2012, 09:34 PM
When the S&W range was open, the staff all wore vests.
Makes sense, and that was a very safe operation.

Warp
December 6, 2012, 09:35 PM
Unusual behaviors cause concern. Reactions will vary depending on the behavior and the person observing it. A person unknown to me, not in uniform, and wearing body armor in public is sufficiently unusual behavior that I'd want to put as much distance as possible between myself and that person as possible. Generally speaking, people wear body armor when they're expecting trouble, and I don't want to be around when trouble happens, so I'm leaving. That's one unusual behavior and one person's reaction to it.

Now maybe if I shot at a range frequented by people who trained in body armor I'd have a different outlook - at least at that range. It might be normal behavior there. But I don't see those kinds of people at the ranges around here, so it would be a cause for concern.

Open carry doesn't bother me. Different behavior, different reaction.

Unusual behaviors cause concern. Reactions will vary depending on the behavior and the person observing it. A person unknown to me, not in uniform, and carrying a gun in public is sufficiently unusual behavior that I'd want to put as much distance as possible between myself and that person as possible. Generally speaking, people wear body armor when they're expecting trouble, and I don't want to be around when trouble happens, so I'm leaving.


How does that sound? ^


It seems kind of bias to say "in public" when referring to a shooting range, BTW.

M-Cameron
December 6, 2012, 09:36 PM
When the S&W range was open, the staff all wore vests.
Makes sense, and that was a very safe operation.

ive been to the S&W range probably a half dozen times.....i dont think ive ever once seen them wear vests.

Sergei Mosin
December 6, 2012, 09:58 PM
Unusual behaviors cause concern. Reactions will vary depending on the behavior and the person observing it. A person unknown to me, not in uniform, and carrying a gun in public is sufficiently unusual behavior that I'd want to put as much distance as possible between myself and that person as possible. Generally speaking, people wear body armor when they're expecting trouble, and I don't want to be around when trouble happens, so I'm leaving.


How does that sound? ^


It seems kind of bias to say "in public" when referring to a shooting range, BTW.

Precisely my point. Different people have different reactions to different behaviors. If a behavior is sufficiently out of the ordinary, negative reactions can be expected. Whether that bothers the individual enough to change their behavior is, of course, up to that individual.

USAF_Vet
December 6, 2012, 10:01 PM
Unusual behaviors cause concern. Reactions will vary depending on the behavior and the person observing it. A person unknown to me, not in uniform, and wearing body armor in public is sufficiently unusual behavior that I'd want to put as much distance as possible between myself and that person as possible. Generally speaking, people wear body armor when they're expecting trouble, and I don't want to be around when trouble happens, so I'm leaving. That's one unusual behavior and one person's reaction to it.

Now maybe if I shot at a range frequented by people who trained in body armor I'd have a different outlook - at least at that range. It might be normal behavior there. But I don't see those kinds of people at the ranges around here, so it would be a cause for concern.

Open carry doesn't bother me. Different behavior, different reaction.
In some cultures, a woman out of the house by herself is 'unusual behavior'. In the UK, possessing a firearm is unusual behavior. What is unusual and what is not is in the eye of the beholder. Now if someone entered a jewelry store wearing full Level IV armor and a helmet, that would be unusual. A person engaging in live fire, around other who are engaging in live fire... well now wearing body armor is just prudent. It might not be 'normal' but as long as that person is being safe, who cares? Not everyone who wears body armor is an unstable Call-Of-Duty wannabe mall ninja.
By packing up and leaving in a protest, that only does injury to the shooting sport overall. The 2A is great and all, but personal protection is more about just the gun.

I train with it, sometimes, and I even get asked about it. But no one has ever thought I was a nut job and packed their things and left because of it. The range I used to go to was public, unmonitored and very busy. Unfortunately, I saw more than a few idiots trying to bump fire from the hip, or shoot clays on the rifle line, or walk out to change targets on a hot range, or muzzle sweep the entire county. Where I go now is remote enough that I'm usually alone.

Maybe I just don't understand the mentality. I am open minded to things that are not considered normal. Some aren't.

taliv
December 6, 2012, 10:05 PM
USAF, it is sad that most people don't share your view anymore. for the most part, it seems people want their own freedom, but are afraid to let others have theirs.

rodinal220
December 6, 2012, 10:08 PM
Don't see how it is paranoid.You wear eye and ear protection.Body armor is just another piece of passive safety gear.Not just for "special folks".

leadcounsel
December 6, 2012, 10:08 PM
Okay, well if car accidents are "too" frequent, and a bad analogy, what about parachuting.

Parachutes rarely fail. So why bother wearing a reserve?

Bottom line is that the technology is inexpensive and if you have it it could save your life if you wear it but it's useless in your closet.

Clipper
December 6, 2012, 10:10 PM
I'd probably leave, since I wouldn't be able to shoot accurately while laughing that hard...

Queen_of_Thunder
December 6, 2012, 10:13 PM
I see people all the time wearing body armour at the range.

stanmo
December 6, 2012, 10:13 PM
Hearing protection....check
eye protection.........check
body armor..............find someplace else to shoot.

Bingo!

longshot7.62x51
December 6, 2012, 10:19 PM
Not needed if it is then you shouldn't be there. That being said I will some times Don mine at a range for additional training before deploying to practice

Sergei Mosin
December 6, 2012, 10:22 PM
What is unusual and what is not is in the eye of the beholder.

Agree.

A person engaging in live fire, around other who are engaging in live fire... well now wearing body armor is just prudent.

I disagree here; I think that - in most cases - it goes beyond prudent and heads toward paranoid. But that's just my opinion.

Not everyone who wears body armor is an unstable Call-Of-Duty wannabe mall ninja.

But enough of them are that I don't want to stick around and find which one you are. You may think that's paranoid, just as I think wearing body armor is paranoid, but so be it.

USAF, it is sad that most people don't share your view anymore. for the most part, it seems people want their own freedom, but are afraid to let others have theirs.

That comment seems directed at me and I resent that just a bit. I don't care what other people do, but there are certain things I don't want to be around, and when they're going on I am going to exercise my freedom to leave.

polosatik
December 6, 2012, 10:24 PM
Maybe I am a bit more prudent than most when it comes to gun accidents, one of my grandfathers was killed in a hunting accident, this is part of the reason I brought up the subject. He was shooting at a squirrel in his backyard with a pump action .22 (Winchester model 61) had a hang fire ejected the round and it blew up in his face, he died 3 days later in the hospital from the infection (he was also on Chemo at the time). As to the know when to be somewhere else, that is valid too, a couple of years ago I was out target shooting with a relative by marriage, he was using a Ruger 10-22, using cheap ammo that kept misfiring, he was ejecting right away to get back to shooting, so I told him the above story, the second time he immediately ejected a round after me telling him the story I decided it was time to leave and never to go shooting with him again.

With all due respect bringing up the case with your grandfather is a bit of a stretch since gun accidents do not have genetic nature and do not run in families. I am sorry for your grandfather but it was his own poor safety choice: being on chemo he could have died from cutting his finger with a bread knife and subsequent infection. A bulletproof vest would not safe his life in that situation; and will have much less chances than it may first seem to save your life in case of a major range accident, like somebody discharging a firearm in your direction, nor protect you from some minor injures which could lead to some fatal consequences in case of compromised health.

The threat is not in front of you and is not aiming at your center mass, in case of reckless shooters it is right next to you, sweeping your side with a muzzle. And chances that it is going to be a headshot or one of the extremities (with a possibility of fatally damaged main arteries, embolism due to a big bone fracture, a hollow point with a funny exit wound), or the bullet hitting your vest into a soft spot or under some interesting angle are pretty high. My point is that body armor is not a panacea unless you're wearing a helmet, mask and a tactical vest with chest, back, neck, shoulders and groin protection with rifle-round-proof plates. And even that will not save you from possible minor injury followed by a fatal sepsis.

If you want to train with your armor on, that is perfectly fine. If you want to rely on it to protect you from reckless people at the range, do not! If you think you're not safe, talk to that person, talk to RSO, leave and come some other time, or go to some other place with better shooting culture.

And by the way I have seen a good documentary recently made for firefighters with a set of experiments proving that any sporting ammo cannot cause any major injury if set off outside a firearm, including 9mm, .45acp rounds and 12ga shot shells.

Warp
December 6, 2012, 10:30 PM
Am I the only one who sees serious irony from the people who claim anybody who wears armour to the range is paranoid...while in the same breath saying that they would leave if they saw somebody in armour?

Who's the paranoid one in that scenario?

Inebriated
December 6, 2012, 10:38 PM
First post nailed it.

If you think you'll need the body armor, you need to avoid that place.

Sam1911
December 6, 2012, 10:49 PM
I think we all need to take a careful re-read of the original post.

There is a big difference between wearing body armor to the range so that you may practice with your duty or deployment equipment, or because you're working or participating in a very dynamic live-fire training environment, or to keep warm (...?) -- and purchasing it and wearing it because you're afraid of getting shot while on a static firing line.

Regardless of disagreements over whose statistics are less inaccurate, accidental shootings while on "square-range" firing lines are still so rare as to be statistically insignificant. There are SO many things that are FAR more worthy of concern, and which none of us would consider reasonable things to fret over.

But if it makes you happy -- go for it!

If you deride others and get all warm and fuzzy ridiculing them for enjoying shooting in their own way (so long as they are safe), you aren't helping anyone at all.

barnbwt
December 6, 2012, 11:37 PM
Am I the only one who sees serious irony from the people who claim anybody who wears armour to the range is paranoid...while in the same breath saying that they would leave if they saw somebody in armour?


It's the same logic of "don't do anything while CCW'ing that you wouldn't do not carrying"

Risk avoidance before risk mitigation. Why mitigate risk (with bulky, cumbersome equipment) you can easily avoid altogether (by simply leaving and finding a better range). Not only that, patronizing a range that permits (or is powerless to stop) slobbish behavior from their users is irresponsible as a shooter.

I don't go to Wal-Mart anymore because their employees won't gather up all the carts littering the parking lot (left by slob customers) and I value my car's paint job too much to take the risk. I go to Kroger instead of tarting my car up with foam bumpers on all sides when I park.

As said above, from a purely training perspective; it's totally justifiable. But if I get a hint of mall ninja off the guy who shows up to plink in riot gear, I will be keeping an eye on him. Same as if the guy was in baggies shooting sideways, or in an abnormally expensive suit. Call it judgemental? I call it making a judgement.

Some people actually seem proud that their behavior/wardrobe choices "scare" people away from them at the range, like it proves something; that's called being rude. Somehow I don't picture a person with such an attitude about other shooters having a "pleasant" demeanor on the line. I frequent friendly ranges, and have yet to run across someone who resents my very presence there.

TCB

Double Naught Spy
December 6, 2012, 11:38 PM
Public and private gun ranges are the only places where I know people with loaded guns have managed to point them at me. So I wore body armor to ranges for years until I finally bought my own land and set up my own range.

Warp
December 6, 2012, 11:40 PM
Public and private gun ranges are the only places where I know people with loaded guns have managed to point them at me.

Same here.

Oh, and one time at a Bass Pro Shop.

Apachedriver
December 7, 2012, 12:05 AM
I think that - in most cases - it goes beyond prudent and heads toward paranoid. But that's just my opinion.


I think that - in most cases - the line of thinking above goes beyond paranoid and heads toward ignorant by choice. But that's just my opinion.

I use two different types of body armor at work and I like to go to the square range just to practice with each piece of armor as they each wear differently.

OT, I agree, if you have to wear armor to stay safe, then you shouldn't be going to that range. I know of two ranges nearby that I won't go to for that very reason. I also know of one in Ft Worth.

leadcounsel
December 7, 2012, 12:16 AM
Ever go to a range where there are bullet holes in the walls, ceiling, divider walls, etc? At public ranges you don't know who the shooter down the row is, and whether they are careful or not.

EVEN experienced members ON THIS BOARD have reported their own NDs and ADs. It can happen to anyone at any time.

I've been in the Army for a minute. Many trips to Iraq. Served with many of the best the Army has to offer. I can say without exaggeration that NDs and ADs are frequent, by the best of the best (Special Forces senior enlisted, warrants, and officers, including snipers). Even the best trained Soldiers get careless and overconfident.

So get off your holier than thou horses about "those ranges."

climbnjump
December 7, 2012, 12:28 AM
Parachutes rarely fail. So why bother wearing a reserve?

Ok, I'm pushing OT rules here, but... If you are a sport jumper, you wear a reserve because it is an FAA regulation that you do so if you are jumping out of an aircraft. The reserve chute has to be regularly inspected and packed by an FAA licensed rigger who must apply his seal to the rig and the jumper must carry the inspection paperwork. As far as the FAA is concerned, you are always jumping your reserve.

(BASE rigs have no reserve as the FAA doesn't regulate them and in most cases there would be zero time to deploy it anyway. Hence the old adage, "If at first you don't succeed, BASE jumping is not for you.")

Isaac-1
December 7, 2012, 12:58 AM
To follow up on the comments made regarding the death of my grandfather, I meant the comment to read as having grown up with this knowledge (my mother and I were visiting the weekend it happened, she rushed him to the local hospital right after it happened), I may tend to be more cautious than most when it comes to gun safety. I am also aware it was a freak accident that a vest would not prevent, and was caused by him getting in a rush to eject the round to take another shot.

This was not the only relative I have that died in a hunting accident, I had a cousin was 2 years younger than I am (we both lived in the same town, but were not that close) that died in a deer hunting accident when I was in high school (he was in Jr. High). Strange accidents seem to run in that side of the family, a few years ago his father died, slipped and fell in his bathroom and hit his head.

On a side point there seems to be a feeling that accidental shootings, ricochets, etc. that cause injuries are a rare occurance at shooting ranges. I am wondering if there is good statistical evidence to back this up, maybe someone here works or has worked at a large public shooting range, because when the topic of ricochets or bullets bouncing back from steel targets comes up it seems there is always someone that pops up saying they have been hit, or something near them was hit from a bounceback, sometimes causing some degree of injury, etc..

USAF_Vet
December 7, 2012, 01:11 AM
If I'm paranoid because I choose to train wearing body armor that I most likely will never need, am I doubly paranoid because I choose to train with firearms that I most likely will never need?

I don't train in armor for fear that the guy next to me is an idiot. I train in armor because it is an essential part of my home defense plan. I know wearing armor alters the way I shoot. I'd rather train with it and be aware of how it changes my shot. Also, not all bad guys are bad shots.

Maybe I am paranoid. But I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, as well as have it and know how to use it, rather than have it and not have a clue.

If I felt someone else's actions were a threat, I'd leave. Otherwise, live and let live. No need to be a Fudd about it.

gunnutery
December 7, 2012, 01:31 AM
I wear body armor for work everyday and during qualification days we're required to wear them as well, even when qualifying with off-duty guns, even when the vest is in the way of the off-duty holster :(.

On my own time I don't wear my vest to the range as I don't really fear getting shot there. I would feel silly or would worry someone would think I was trying to flaunt my career. I've only ever seen one other person don body armor at a public range who was clearly on his own time. I didn't talk to him but I gathered that he was in LE. For all I know he had some sort of policy that stated he'd wear his vest to any range he visits. Looking back, I don't really care now, but at the time I somehow resented his "need" to wear it. If someone feels safer in doing so good for them, but I don't really see the need unless using long guns with response gear to get the feel for the added bulk.

Isaac1, as far as your grandfather's accident, I don't blame you for looking for safer ways to conduct your shooting experience. I think you were right to leave your relative when he didn't respect your legitimate fears of ejecting hangfires. I always leave a hangfire in the chamber for 30 seconds or so. I happen to like my body as is, and would prefer not to damage it.

beatledog7
December 7, 2012, 08:15 AM
I don't own body armor, probably because I don't see a civilian application for myself. I know folks who do and train in it as they see fit. As many have said, if it's prudent to wear eyes and ears--and it is--then wearing a vest is not such a great leap. It's not a step I'm prepared to take, but I'm not going to flee like there's an impending nuclear blast just because a range patron has made that choice for himself.

Ricochets aside, at any range it's possible that some shooter will screw up and put a round where it doesn't belong. It's less likely at a range where shooters are carefully screened, but at most ranges anyone who wants to shoot and can pay gets to shoot (after he passes the little test that everyone passes). I'd wager there is at least one ND--and probably several--at the average range every day, but that most go harmlessly down range (thanks to the muzzle control rule) and go unreported. The shooter who runs like the wind from a range where someone is wearing armor because he thinks, "Oh no! There's a guy in body armor, so either he's a freaky video game ninja wannabe or he's seen people launch bullets all over the place at this range," would seem to be saying that he won't shoot anywhere that exhibits any possibility of having a stray round come his way. Aside from one's private range, there just isn't any range where no possibility of a stray round exists.

Has such a shooter forgotten that anyone, including himself, can have an ND? Just as the driver who thinks he's too skilled to be involved in a crash is most prone to complacency behind the wheel, the person most likely to have an ND is the one who thinks he's immune.

Sav .250
December 7, 2012, 08:21 AM
Body armor........are you holding the targets by hand?

brnmw
December 7, 2012, 08:22 AM
I can't say I have ever really felt the need for it. I do know my Father once commented on that particular subject and even he realized that it is really unnecessary. Most of the places we go the range officers are armed and very "in tuned" with everything going on. (I don't know why but when he asked me my thoughts on that subject my first smart remark out of my mouth referred to the "Dumb & Dumber" movie> "But what if he shot you in the face?" He did not think that was funny but I did. :)

Ehtereon11B
December 7, 2012, 08:24 AM
The only time I wore a vest to the range was when I was working as an instructor teaching firearm safety while going to university. It was less about my safety or paranoia and more about the professional image. Most instructors were LEO or military staff so we used our issue vests and didn't make the others buy $300 vests.

Carl N. Brown
December 7, 2012, 08:41 AM
you cant really compare car accidents to range shootings, as car accidents kill millions of people each year.....and range shootings kill maybe a few hundred.

If that's supposed to be the USA, both figures are greatly exaggerated.

knifestuff
December 7, 2012, 08:43 AM
Let me offer that in my local jurisdiction, wearing body armor is sufficient PC to initiate a field interview by local LEOs. Take the code words out of all of that and it means that you have drawn attention to yourself by the cops. If you simply don the armor at the range, it may not be an issue; if you are wearing it from home to the range, you should expect more "attention". Me, for one--I like to maintain a low profile...

youngda9
December 7, 2012, 08:50 AM
Train how you plan to fight...LOL.

45_auto
December 7, 2012, 09:13 AM
if you are wearing it from home to the range, you should expect more "attention"

A phone call to the cops about a guy in body armor outside a range will definitely get some attention. This happened here in September:

Monroe man arrested for wearing bullet-proof vest at fair

Ouachita Parish sheriff's deputies have arrested a man accused of wearing body armor to the Ark-La-Miss Fair. The News-Star reports 23-year-old Herbert Nappier of Monroe was booked Saturday into Ouachita Correctional Center on a charge of unlawful use of body armor.

In an arrest affidavit, dispatchers told Monroe police patrolling around the outside of the fairground an anonymous caller told them a man was putting on a bullet-proof vest outside the fair.

The report stated Nappier did not know it was illegal to wear body armor. He told deputies a friend gave him the vest. It was unclear whether Nappier has an attorney.

http://www.hebert-law.com/index.php/News/Page-6.html

MErl
December 7, 2012, 10:36 AM
what possible justification did a state have for making it illegal to wear body armor?

as to wearing at the range? I agree with others in that if you want to train with it, go for it. If you feel you need it in any situation you should reevaluate being in that situation.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 11:04 AM
I wear body armor while stalking game, especially turkey when I'm in full camo (heavy stuff - interceptor vest with plates), because Bubba might mistake me for an animal and go bush busting.

But I don't wear it to the range. :)

M-Cameron
December 7, 2012, 11:11 AM
A phone call to the cops about a guy in body armor outside a range will definitely get some attention. This happened here in September:


Monroe man arrested for wearing bullet-proof vest at fair

Ouachita Parish sheriff's deputies have arrested a man accused of wearing body armor to the Ark-La-Miss Fair. The News-Star reports 23-year-old Herbert Nappier of Monroe was booked Saturday into Ouachita Correctional Center on a charge of unlawful use of body armor.

In an arrest affidavit, dispatchers told Monroe police patrolling around the outside of the fairground an anonymous caller told them a man was putting on a bullet-proof vest outside the fair.

The report stated Nappier did not know it was illegal to wear body armor. He told deputies a friend gave him the vest. It was unclear whether Nappier has an attorney.
http://www.hebert-law.com/index.php/News/Page-6.html

im going to assume there is more to that story....

because on the state level, i was unable to find any laws relating to the use or ownership of body armor.

federally it is prohibited for a violent felon to buy or own body armor.

so chance are:

1) the man arrested was a violent felon

2) the police falsely arrested the guy

3) the news report screwed up or got details wrong.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 11:22 AM
In Illinois, it's a felony to commit a crime wearing body armor (including misdemeanors).

I really love the way our laws work.

"It's a crime to commit a crime"... well... DUH.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 11:25 AM
In Illinois, it's a felony to commit a crime wearing body armor (including misdemeanors).

I really love the way our laws work.

"It's a crime to commit a crime"... well... DUH.

The law has a purpose. "Aggravators" are not uncommon.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 11:33 AM
The law has a purpose. "Aggravators" are not uncommon.

Oh I don't doubt the intent, or even disagree with it.

However, there are so many NON violent misdemeanors on the books that it makes it VERY risky for a normal civilian to wear concealable body armor in Illinois. There's certain places where I still do so, but even hunting, I have to make sure I'm in compliance with EVERYTHING because even a minor infraction of hunting laws in IL can justify a misdemeanor offense. Which would then become a Felony.

Warp
December 7, 2012, 11:44 AM
Oh I don't doubt the intent, or even disagree with it.

However, there are so many NON violent misdemeanors on the books that it makes it VERY risky for a normal civilian to wear concealable body armor in Illinois. There's certain places where I still do so, but even hunting, I have to make sure I'm in compliance with EVERYTHING because even a minor infraction of hunting laws in IL can justify a misdemeanor offense. Which would then become a Felony.

Yes...they really ought to specify specific crimes or types of crimes that this is an aggravator for.

But being Illinois...lol, good luck with that

Trent
December 7, 2012, 11:53 AM
Yes...they really ought to specify specific crimes or types of crimes that this is an aggravator for.

But being Illinois...lol, good luck with that

Yeah, it was one of those "for the children" bills, I think.

"Unlawful Use of Body Armor"

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=072000050HArt%2E+33F&ActID=1876&ChapterID=53&SeqStart=89300000&SeqEnd=89725000


CRIMINAL OFFENSES
(720 ILCS 5/) Criminal Code of 1961.


(720 ILCS 5/Art. 33F heading)
ARTICLE 33F. UNLAWFUL USE OF BODY ARMOR

(720 ILCS 5/33F-1) (from Ch. 38, par. 33F-1)
Sec. 33F-1. Definitions. For purposes of this Article:
(a) "Body Armor" means any one of the following:
(1) A military style flak or tactical assault vest

which is made of Kevlar or any other similar material or metal, fiberglass, plastic, and nylon plates and designed to be worn over one's clothing for the intended purpose of stopping not only missile fragmentation from mines, grenades, mortar shells and artillery fire but also fire from rifles, machine guns, and small arms.
(2) Soft body armor which is made of Kevlar or any

other similar material or metal or any other type of insert and which is lightweight and pliable and which can be easily concealed under a shirt.
(3) A military style recon/surveillance vest which is

made of Kevlar or any other similar material and which is lightweight and designed to be worn over one's clothing.
(4) Protective casual clothing which is made of

Kevlar or any other similar material and which was originally intended to be used by undercover law enforcement officers or dignitaries and is designed to look like jackets, coats, raincoats, quilted or three piece suit vests.
(b) "Dangerous weapon" means a Category I, Category II, or Category III weapon as defined in Section 33A-1 of this Code.
(Source: P.A. 91-696, eff. 4-13-00.)

(720 ILCS 5/33F-2) (from Ch. 38, par. 33F-2)
Sec. 33F-2. Unlawful use of body armor. A person commits the offense of unlawful use of body armor when he knowingly wears body armor and is in possession of a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, in the commission or attempted commission of any offense.
(Source: P.A. 93-906, eff. 8-11-04.)

(720 ILCS 5/33F-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 33F-3)
Sec. 33F-3. Sentence. A person convicted of unlawful use of body armor for a first offense shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and for a second or subsequent offense shall be guilty of a Class 4 felony.
(Source: P.A. 87-521.)


Interesting point I don't remember seeing "other than a firearm" in there before.

beatledog7
December 7, 2012, 12:01 PM
Why would anyone need body armor in Illinois, the state where nobody can legally carry a gun?

Old Dog
December 7, 2012, 12:10 PM
This one cracks me up:
If you think you'll need the body armor, you need to avoid that place.
Have you ever heard: If you think you'll need the gun, you need to avoid that place.

I occasionally wear one of my two vests to a commercial range. I simply want to shoot as much as possible, apart from work training, while wearing body armor. I suspect that's why most people would wear body armor to the range, and not because they're worried about taking incoming from other shooters.

MErl
December 7, 2012, 12:55 PM
Have you ever heard: If you think you'll need the gun, you need to avoid that place.

That applies just as much to guns as body armor.

Going to practice is quite different from needing to use it.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 02:45 PM
Why would anyone need body armor in Illinois, the state where nobody can legally carry a gun?

You're joking right? :)

In the state where no-one can carry a gun we have REALLY high murder rates with firearms.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 02:51 PM
Oh Illinois is FULL of stupid laws, like this one. Just in case it's not otherwise blatantly obvious - criminals currently imprisoned in a penal institution can't possess machineguns anymore.

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/97/097-0237.htm


(b) It is unlawful for any person confined in a penal
institution, which is a facility of the Illinois Department of
Corrections, to possess any weapon prohibited under Section
24-1 of this Code or any firearm or firearm ammunition,
regardless of the intent with which he possesses it.

...

Violation of this Section by a person who is on parole or mandatory supervised
release is a Class 2 felony for which the person, if sentenced
to a term of imprisonment, shall be sentenced to not less than
3 years and not more than 14 years. Violation of this Section
by a person not confined in a penal institution is a Class X
felony when the firearm possessed is a machine gun. Any person
who violates this Section while confined in a penal
institution, which is a facility of the Illinois Department of
Corrections, is guilty of a Class 1 felony, if he possesses any
weapon prohibited under Section 24-1 of this Code regardless of
the intent with which he possesses it, a Class X felony if he
possesses any firearm, firearm ammunition or explosive, and a
Class X felony for which the offender shall be sentenced to not
less than 12 years and not more than 50 years when the firearm
possessed is a machine gun. A violation of this Section while
wearing or in possession of body armor as defined in Section
33F-1 is a Class X felony punishable by a term of imprisonment
of not less than 10 years and not more than 40 years. The
possession of each firearm or firearm ammunition in violation
of this Section constitutes a single and separate violation.


So if you get caught with a machinegun AND body amor in prison you can be charged with 2 class X felonies AND sentenced to 90 years in prison....

.... which you are ALREADY IN.

I think if inmates get access to body armor and machineguns in prison, we have bigger problems than what to charge them with.

Man I hate this state.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 02:54 PM
THAT is why the first law I quoted doesn't have firearms.

Body armor is covered under UUW law in IL, if you're carrying a firearm while wearing body armor.


(4) Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon while wearing or in possession of body armor as defined in Section 33F-1 by a person who has not been issued a valid Firearms Owner's Identification Card in accordance with Section 5 of the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act is a Class X felony.


(That's a nasty one)

waterhouse
December 7, 2012, 05:03 PM
I wear armor every day at work, so when I train I generally wear it as well. I generally train in jeans and a t-shirt to avoid getting my uniform dirty. I find it odd that wearing soft armor with jeans and a t shirt while training would be cause for a person to leave the range, but to each his own.

Trent
December 7, 2012, 09:29 PM
waterhouse; after I got shot at while at the range back in the late 90's, I wore armor EVERY time, and continued to do so for a long time.

Guy pulled up during a cease fire while me and my son were changing targets; my son was 4 or 5 at the time. He got a 22 rifle out of his car and started plinking at targets up on the stand which were already set up two stands over from me.

By the time I got back to the firing line the RO was making him pack up and leave; three of my friends restrained me. I was furious that someone sent rounds down range while me and my little boy were out. It's inexcusable.

Anyway after that incident, it was common for me to wear armor with SAPI plates to the range; shortly after that incident I traded an AR-15 for an interceptor vest. Wore either that, or class IIIA concealable vest, every time I went to the range up to about 2007.

I've relaxed a little since then. :)

beatledog7
December 7, 2012, 09:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by beatledog7
Why would anyone need body armor in Illinois, the state where nobody can legally carry a gun?
You're joking right?

In the state where no-one can carry a gun we have REALLY high murder rates with firearms.

Yes, I should have added the rolling eyeballs thing. I absolutely understand why one would want to be armored in a state where only the BGs have guns.

CZguy
December 8, 2012, 12:19 AM
I wear armor every day at work, so when I train I generally wear it as well. I generally train in jeans and a t-shirt to avoid getting my uniform dirty. I find it odd that wearing soft armor with jeans and a t shirt while training would be cause for a person to leave the range, but to each his own.

I think that it comes down to what's normal in your area. I've never seen anyone wear any kind of body armor at the range (other than uniformed police officers)

So it would certainly attract attention. I don't know about leaving though, I guess it would depend on his behavior.

The-Reaver
December 8, 2012, 08:00 AM
I occasionally wear my armor to the range. I don't do it out of paranoid thoughts of being blasted. I do it because my job requires me to carry a firearm & wear body armor.

Hopefully I will never have to use my firearm on the job but it may happen. If so, I want to be accurate.

Train as you fight ladies & gents.

Hit_Factor
December 8, 2012, 08:11 AM
I wear body armor at work and avoid places outside of work if i think body armor would be prudent.

Robert
December 8, 2012, 08:16 AM
This one is starting to go around in circles.

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