Tipton Introduces Legislation to Provide Lifesaving Body Armor to Law Enforcement Officers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03) introduced the Law Enforcement Protection Act (H.R. 6025), which would help provide America’s law enforcement officers with Type III body armor that can withstand rifle ballistics. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) recently introduced the Senate companion bill.
“With limited budgets, the law enforcement officers who dedicate their lives keeping America’s communities safe often do not have access to adequate protective equipment,” said Tipton. “With the recent and tragic deaths of three law enforcement officers in Colorado due to gunfire and 73 across the nation since 2017, more must be done to help law enforcement officers do their jobs and return home safely each night. The Law Enforcement Protection Act will provide law enforcement officers with more durable body armor that can withstand rifle fire, better guaranteeing their safety.”
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities,” said Gardner. “They are always there to help others and deserve nothing less than our gratitude and thanks. Unfortunately, Colorado and departments across the country have seen too many officer involved deaths and we must do more to protect those who protect us. Our officers should not be put in harm’s way without the absolute best equipment and that is why I introduced 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.”
H.R. 6025 would establish a $1.1. billion fund as a part of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) Program, to be used exclusively for the purchase of Type III rifle-ballistic body armor. Additionally, this legislation would direct $3 million in funding to the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the research and development of advanced body armor.
Type III armor is the only body armor that stops rifle ballistics. According to the Department of Justice, the majority of bulletproof vests purchased through the BVP grant program were Type II vests. Type III armor is more expensive than other types of body armor and a majority of law enforcement departments do not have the budget to purchase this advanced body armor. It is estimated that $1.1 billion is needed to provide every full-time law enforcement officer with Type III armor.
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