Body Armor 101. Know What You're Buying
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is an agency within the U.S government that is the research, development and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. The agency is dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. The NIJ is the agency that sets the testing standard for body armour.
The current standard for body armour testing is NIJ Standard-0101.06 for ballistic resistance. The NIJ has an information page that contains standards and obligations that body armour companies have in order to to be compliant. They must meet standards of workmanship, labelling, and testing. The NIJ has a program of approved testing facilities that test the armour to the strict standards of the National Institute of Justice.
How to Know if your Equipment is NIJ Approved
One of the standards for testing facilities is that it has to be located in the United States of America. Their list of approved testing facilities that can be found in this link. If you're looking purchase body armour ask the company if their vest(s) meet NIJ standards. It is important then to request the name of the facility the armour was tested in and the location of the facility. If they tell you the company was anywhere other than in the U.S. It IS NOT NIJ Tested and Certified. The NIJ also has a list of body armour companies who've had their armour tested by the approved laboratories. You can find that list by clicking here.
There is a reason why some companies sell their armour much cheaper than others. Body armour can be purchased from companies in China, India, Pakistan and South America. These vests are cheaper than Armour made in Canada or the U.S. In order for that armour to be NIJ tested and certified it must be tested in an NIJ approved laboratory in the United States.
The following is a direct quote from the NIJ page. When In Doubt Check It Out Labels can be deceiving Products that bear the ballistic panel label stating, “This model of armour has been determined to comply with the NIJ Standard-0101.06 by the NIJ Compliance Testing Program and is listed in the NIJ Compliant Products List,” should be what they are advertised to be. However, you won’t really know for sure unless you:
1) Look at the model designation identified on the armour’s ballistic panel label.
2) Check the Compliant Products List. Click here to determine whether the armour model in question has actually gone through NIJ’s Compliance Testing Program. Buyer beware! Double check all products.
The only way to be sure that what you have is the real McCoy is to check the NIJ Compliant Products List. If it isn’t listed on the CPL, it isn’t NIJ compliant. Period." If you are still unsure, we invite you to call us 1-866-218-5883.
Are you Qualified to Purchase Body Armour?
Before you purchase your body armour, it is important to know if you have the legal right to. Body armour is legal to own in a few certain provinces in Canada without needing a valid license. At 911Gear.ca, we will only sell our body armour if you are able to provide proof that you are in the following fields of work:
1) Law Enforcement.
2) Emergency Services
People who are legally employed in the Security field.
you hold a valid Security license, employed by and hold a valid ID for the company you're employed with.
4) Active Military Persons.
When you are entering a scenario where you are at risk, you need to be equipped with the tactical vest or body armour you can rely on. We are proud to say that all the tactical body armour available at 911Gear.ca is NIJ tested and certified.