The new law restricts the sale of bullet proof vests to all but law enforcement and approved security guards. It’s intended to curtail the use of body armour by criminals.
Manitoba’s new Body Armour and Fortified Vehicle Control Act will begin to be enforced in the new year, the province said today.
Enforcement of the new law restricting the sale and use of body armour, and owning and driving fortified vehicles, will begin in April. The three-month period allows time for individuals and businesses to comply with the new rules. Starting next month, the province will begin accepting applications for permits or licences required to have or sell body armour.
Those required to wear body armour to perform their jobs will not need a permit. This list includes:
police officers, band and community constables; firefighters and emergency response technicians; licenced security guards; provincial sheriffs and corrections officers; federal employees required to wear body armour; and armoured vehicle service employees.
People who want to have or sell body armour, but are not exempt under the legislation, must have the proper licences or permits, the province says.
The application fee is $100 for the first five-year permit and $50 to renew for a further five years. Body armor retailers are required to ensure their customers have a licence or are exempt. Applicants must explain why they need body armour and will be subject to a criminal record check.
The new law also bans the use of illegitimate armoured vehicles. Police, prisoner transport and military applications are not impacted by this legislation.
People who own an armoured vehicle service or a vintage military vehicle also do not have to have a permit to drive or own a fortified vehicle. Employees of a proper armoured car firm are allowed to drive them. Others who want to drive or own a fortified vehicle must seek a permit.It costs $100 for the first five-year permit and $50 to renew for a further five years.
When enforcement begins in April, police will have the authority to seize body armour from those who possess it without a permit.
Seized body armour will be destroyed and offenders will face fines of up to $10,000, incarceration for up to three months or both. Businesses could be fined up to $25,000 and their officers given individual fines of up to $10,000, be incarcerated for up to three months or both.
The province says peace officers can require an armoured vehicle to undergo an inspection. Vehicles that do not pass inspection could be removed from the road and the driver charged. Fortified vehicles are defined as those designed to resist bullets or explosives or that have other specified fortifications.