Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation into law aimed at prohibiting violent felons from possessing body armor such as bulletproof vests.
The bill, known as SB 408, was sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima.
"Public safety is absolutely my No. 1 priority, which is why I signed SB 408 today," Schwarzenegger said Wednesday in a prepared statement. "Violent felons wearing body armor pose a dangerous threat to our communities and especially to our men and women in law enforcement. I'm proud to sign this legislation and to continue working with the legislature to protect Californians."
Padilla said there is an urgent need for the law after recent altercations between felons wearing body armor and law enforcement.
On Jan. 20, an armed man suspected of killing eight people in Virginia was wearing a bulletproof vest when he was apprehended by police. On March 19, a parolee with 19 arrests and four convictions was found wearing body armor after a high-speed chase in Los Angeles.
"I am proud that SB 408 won legislative support and was signed into law in less than five months, and I appreciate the governor's support of this measure," Padilla said in a statement. "This bill shows that the legislature is serious about public safety."