Do Politicians Wear Bulletproof Vests?

Politics can be an interesting area to try and understand in this day and age. With so much political uncertainty in the United States air, it could be easy to wonder whether or not many politicians such as Donald Trump, Chris Christie, Ben Carson, and more, are safe from the world around them. So do politicians wear protection such as bulletproof vests, or would they rather trust their resources such as secret service or personal security to keep them safe?

A lot of politicians do wear bulletproof vests since the attack on 9/11 and the assassination of four U.S presidents, especially U.S presidents themselves. However, they’re concealed a majority of the time and are very uncomfortable for most high-ranking politicians and public figures to wear. The most notable politicians wearing bulletproof vests are Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George Bush. 

In a year full of rioting, looting, protesting, and pandemics, the bulletproof vest market size is sure to have grown by quite a margin amongst politicians. According to a report by GMInsights, the CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) for the market is set to grow 6.7% between 2020 and 2026. This is a great number given that the bulletproof vest market size was around 1.44 billion USD in 2019. 

Though much of this market is to the benefit of the military and territorial disputes, we can surely expect many of our high-ranking politicians to be dawning these flexible vests for years to come. In fact, as of April 2020, politicians were forced to wear protective bulletproof vests due to unpeaceful protestors with assault rifles marching onto the state capitol.

Trump always wear bulletproof vest during campain rallies (Source).

What Type of Bulletproof Vests Are There?

Although a majority of these politicians often prefer light and concealed vests, there are many other types of bulletproof vests that could be worn by these at-risk officials.

Here’s a list of the different types of vests along with some of their features.

  • Kevlar® Vests  – Comfortable, Flexible, Great strength, Durability, High-Tensile Strength, High Ballistic/Cut/Fragment/Heat Resistance, and High Dimensional Stability 

( Weight – 4 lbs or more )

  • Hard Ballistic Plate Vests – Extra Strength, Made of Nylon, Uses Ceramics & Ceramic Components, Polyethylene, Bullet-Resistant Fibers, and Much Heavier Weight 

( Weight – 5-8 pounds or more )

  • Stab and Spike Proof Vests – Proficient Against Sharp Objects, Made with Kevlar and Sometimes Chain Mail Under Plastic Laminate, Can Protect Against Small Firearms, but not reliable.

As you can see, all these different types of bulletproof vests are made in significantly different ways to withstand different amounts of a firearm and or edged bladed impact. Kevlar vests are considered a Level I to Level II vest with ballistic plates and are built to withstand most handguns such as a 9mm, and a .357. 

Hard Ballistic Plate vests are considered a Level III to Level IV vest and are built to withstand 7.62mm FMJ M80 Military Grade ammo, all the way to a direct shot from a 30 Caliber AP round. Stab and Spike Proof vests are also considered a Stab Level 1 to Stab Level 3 vest. It is resistant to most knives, spikes, and other sharp objects. However other weapons such as axes, hatchets, and spears could get through these stab and spike proof vests with ease.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau wears a protective vest under his shirt as he arrives at a rally in Mississauga, Ontario, on Oct. 12, 2019 (Source).

Why Should Politicians Need To Wear Bulletproof Vests?

Since four of our country’s leaders have been assassinated, the terrorist attack of 9/11 happened, and angry protestors ran through the streets demanding our politicians’ heads on a stick, bulletproof vests have been a quiet, yet useful investment for many politicians. Many of them choose to wear thin ballistic plated bulletproof vests, while others are a little more skeptical about what’s around the corner, wearing slightly stronger material such as Kevlar vests. 

Although it is especially difficult already to get close to a politician such as a POTUS or an elected official, as they typically are already occupied by a group of secret service or security, times are getting tougher in the United States. More and more citizens are demanding a call for action amid the COVID-19 pandemic therefore, the safety of the nation’s politicians is at more risk than ever.

While bulletproof vests may seem to be a foolproof way to keep yourself safe in any given situation, nothing is 100% bulletproof. 

All guns are deadly, and firearms such as shotguns, 9-millimeter weapons, and .357 SIG are some of the very small numbers of cases where a bulletproof vest may not protect a politician very well. This is because 9mm and .357 SIG rounds travel at much faster speeds than the Level 1 concealed armor are built to sustain. 

Politicians should wear bulletproof vests whenever possible. Secret Service and personal security details are great and have done very well in keeping many of our elected officials safe for decades, it’s never too far fetched to believe some crazed and angry person is right around the corner and simply doesn’t care about the consequences.

To Wrap It Up

A lot of politicians do wear concealed bulletproof vests but due to the weight, uncomfortable nature, and security detail which is likely already there for the politician, a lot also decide against it. 

U.S Presidents such as Donald Trump have been seen wearing a concealed bulletproof vest on many occasions during his MAGA rallies. While stating that it makes him sweaty and uncomfortable, however, he feels it’s necessary. He also signed legislation in 2019 reauthorizing a bulletproof vest program that would help to buy bulletproof vests for police officers. 

George Bush is also another U.S President that has been seen wearing a bulletproof vest during Game 5 of the 2001 World Series where the World Trade Center had been attacked only a month earlier. Barack Obama later followed up in 2009 wearing a concealed bulletproof vest to inaugural ceremonies.


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Kevin was born and raised in Texas and loves all things tactical. His hobbies include shooting, hunting, rock climbing, and hiking with his dog Jax.

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