One of the most common questions I get asked is whether it is legal to buy bullet resistant vests in the customer’s respective provinces in Canada.
Unfortunately, the answer is not a straightforward yes, as there are three provinces that have rules about possessing body armour.
The most common description of Body armour is a garment or item designed, intended or adapted for the purpose of protecting a person from projectiles discharged from a firearm.
Let’s get the easy answer out of the way first. Except for Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba there are currently NO restrictions as to who can purchase and wear bullet resistant vests.
Here is a breakdown on the policies in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Manitoba:
Alberta - You are exempt from needing a Body Armour Permit if you are:
- Members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, members of a police service as defined in the Police Act, and peace officers while acting within the scope of their authority and in the course of their employment or designation.
- Ambulance attendants under the Emergency Health Services Act while the ambulance attendant is acting within the scope of the ambulance attendant’s authority and in the course of the ambulance attendant’s employment or designation.
- Individuals designated as inspectors under section 98 of the Gaming and Liquor Act while the inspector is acting within the scope of the inspector’s employment.
- Individuals who are licensed as a security services worker or an investigator under the Security Services and Investigators Act while the licensee is acting within the scope of the licensee’s authority and in the course of the licensee’s employment or designation.
- Wildlife officers under the Wildlife Act while the wildlife officer is acting within the scope of the wildlife officer’s authority and in the course of the wildlife officer’s employment or designation.
- Individuals who have been issued a valid license under the Firearms Act (Canada).
- Firefighters while the firefighter is acting in the course of the firefighter’s employment.
- Business owners, or employees of a business, who in the ordinary course of that business or Employment purchases, sells, transports or otherwise deals with body armour.
- Individuals who have been authorized to use or permitted to wear body armour under the authority of an enactment.
- Individuals involved in farming or ranching operations, while engaged in farming or ranching operations.
- Individuals performing in an exhibition, stampede, rodeo, fair or sporting event.
British Columbia - You are exempt from needing a Body Armour Permit if you:
hold a valid security worker licence authorizing the person to perform the work of:
- an armoured car guard
- a private investigator
- a security consultant
- a security guard, or
- a body armour salesperson,
while the person is in the course of employment under the security worker licence,
(b) holds a valid security business licence for a security business described in paragraph (a), (c), (d), (e),
(f) or (g) of the definition of "security business" in the Security Services Act, while the person is in the course of employment in relation to the security business licence, or
(c) is exempt under the regulations.
Manitoba - You are exempt from needing a Body Armour Permit if you:
- a member of a police service
- a firefighter or a medical emergency response technician
- a sheriff or deputy sheriff
- a correctional officer as defined in The Correctional Services Act
- the holder of a valid body armour seller's licence; and
- a prescribed person or a member of a prescribed class of persons.
Restriction on exemption
The exemption applies only while the person who is the subject of the exemption is
a) using body armour in the course of his or her employment or duties; or
b) in possession of body armour as permitted or authorized by his or her employer or commanding officer.
As always, if you have any questions about our bullet resistant vests or any other product please contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org.