Washington, D.C. – Cory Gardner, a U.S. Republican senator from Colorado, introduced a bill on May 15 to equip every U.S. law enforcement officer with body armor that can withstand a shot from a rifle.
The vast majority of soft body armor used by law enforcement cannot stop a rifle round.
Those vests are referred to as Type I or Type II vests.
Gardner is proposing Type III body armor for all police officers, which are rated to stop rounds from many rifles.
According to a press release from Gardner’s office, many smaller police agencies cannot afford to purchase the Type III vests. Some agencies don’t purchase ANY vests.
The bill would authorize more funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to research more advanced body armor.
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities,” said Gardner in a press release**.**
“Our officers should not be put in harm’s way without the absolute best equipment and that is why I am introducing legislation, which will make it easier for every officer in the country to purchase body armor that can withstand rifle bullets. I will work with members on both sides of the aisle to see this important piece of legislation signed into law,” the statement said.
Gardner said in an interview on Fox & Friends that better body armor could have saved the lives of three Colorado officers murdered in the last six months.
Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish was killed in an ambush on Dec. 31. Four other officers were wounded, according to The Gazette.
Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy Heath Gumm was fatally shot Jan. 24 in a gunfight with a suspect.
Paso County Deputy Micah Flick was fatally shot on Feb. 5. Deputy Flick was killed and three other officers were wounded during a gunfight in a parking lot with a suspected car thief, The Denver Post reported.