It is essential to understand that in some states and cities in the United States the possession of body armor for civilians (non police, government employee or military) is a felony. While this is not generally a concern of mine specifically it is still essential to understand for those reading this.
I am a parent, individual and value my childrens lives above all others including my wife, my life and and my wifes life take second to that. It is necessary to have a pyramid of “care” when planning for and implementing daily self defense regardless location or local law. While I would not encourage others I do not know to break the law, I will say that as with the use of firearms and any deadly weapon in defense of self or family the following applies where-ever English Common Law is utilized. This is called the Doctrine of Competing Harms or Doctrine of Necessity. It has different names in different states or countries that utilize English Common Law, the definition is the same. If by breaking a minor law you prevent a greater harm from occurring the minor law can be allowed to be broken. In almost every case it requires what is known as exigent circumstances, eg., imminent danger of great bodily injury or death. Not all attorneys use this, have ever used it or even understand it exists, but it does. Make sure if you are arrested defending yourself and have in some way broken a minor law doing so that you DO NOT talk to the cops about it, and insist your attorney use it. However, legalities are another topic entirely and could easily fill thousands of books, if you have questions ask. But make sure you ask someone who actually knows and has seen it used or used it.
Back to the topic at hand, use of body armor as an additional layer of security for defense of self and home. Body armor is heavy, uncomfortable and if it is comfortable it is almost surely not going to be solid enough to work for what you need. Type II and higher will stop the commonly used handgun rounds. Interestingly with some testing I have found that older issue German Surplus Flak Vests generally stop most common handgun rounds as well as shotgun. Some people still have them in stock and they can be generally had for around $75. I have purchased a few and tested a couple thoroughly, these I use for the children and leave them in their rooms for their use in an emergency. NEVER wash flak vests or any Kevlar material, it looses its ability to function as necessary if washed.
For myself and the wife I have drop over plate carriers with AR500 spall resistant plates installed. These plate carriers have spare magazines attached as well as whatever else we may deem necessary. AR500 plates we have installed are relatively inexpensive and can stop most rifle calibers through 7.62×51 or .308. Due to weight restrictions again they are only worn when necessary and are mounted to drop over plate carriers that take under 15 seconds to install on our person and will effectively reduce the possibility for injury.
In addition to the armor itself is the training with it on. While I dont do this all the time of course, I do occasionally train with armor on. I need to know how it feels, how effective I can be in it and most importantly, how much it reduces my ability to react and act when necessary. Thats it, after testing the following plate carriers came out quite nicely ahead which is good for me, they are after all much less cost wise then others that exist. Condor Plate Carriers and other components such as the modular magazine holders, allow for an easy set up. In addition we have fast grab bags specifically designed for an occasion where someone may attack us directly and keep pressure on.
What do you do for your protection and your families?
Have you considered this option and if not, why?
Free the mind and the body will follow.