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Knock-Off Body Armor

Knock-Off Body Armor

Body armor saves lives. What goes into the gear is amazing and I, for one, am glad those who protect and serve or stand on the front line of freedom get a second chance if the unthinkable happens. Unfortunately, authorities in Florida have charged three men with selling counterfeits that offer no ballistic protection. Buyers paid $600 to $900 for the “body armor” at Florida gun shows. One of the accused is a former Ocoee City Commissioner.

Contact the manufacturer to determine authenticity if you purchased Point Blank, PACA, ABA, Gall’s, First Choice and OM Tactical body armor at gun shows in the state. There were other “manufacturers” listed, although some of them apparently do not exist.

Safariland, which owns the ABA and Second Chance lines of body armor, has issued a statement for concerned owners. I’ve had the honor of visiting the Safariland plant, and the dedication of the entire staff to saving lives is evident the moment you walk in the front door. The company keeps a scoreboard, of sorts, with the number of officers who have been saved by its duty gear and equipment in the lobby. It’s a source of pride that runs all the way back to the ballistics lab, where the company develops and refines all of its body armor long before it hits the streets.

Photos of the officers saved cover the walls in the testing facility-a gentle reminder that what they do makes a difference, and a rightful source of pride. There they use high-speed photography to record multiple projectile impacts, have a machine to stab it dozens of times and even chronograph bullet velocities to ensure they’re emulating the proper testing conditions. The attention to detail and video produced is amazing.

Safariland and the other companies work hard to provide another level of protection to those who stand in harm’s way. That makes the alleged abuse of their logos and labels even more dangerous.

There are some who may be asking why a civilian would purchase body armor. A deployed family member is one example. Even then, deciding which product is right can be fraught with peril, as evidenced by this ABC report.

A homeowner might also consider body armor (check state and local regulations, it may not be legal in your area). Personally, I doubt I’d be composed enough during a home invasion to even remember it. But, if your safe-room door can stand up to five assailants trying to break it down, you will probably have time to slip an extra layer of defense over your jammies. Why not climb into a little more protection while you’re waiting for the cavalry to arrive?

Purchasing legitimate law enforcement or military versions could be a challenge. But, consider U.S. Primary Armament Logistical Manufacturing if you want to add another layer to your home-defense strategy. The reviews are pretty good, it sells to civilians and unlike a lot of things in life, it’s the real deal.

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