Fox News contributor John Santucci reports on the state of the body armor debate.
A report by The Associated Press in June found that of the nearly 30,000 people killed in the U.S. by gunfire last year, nearly half of those killed were armed.
The AP analyzed data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, which tracks the purchases of firearms, handguns and ammunition in the United States.
It found that in 2016, about 18,000 law enforcement agencies and police departments had collected data on their customers and reported that more than 1.1 million of them were wearing body armour.
The report found that there were more than 20,000 such agencies in 2016.
The vast majority of these were located in the West, including about 3,000 in California, and the rest in the Northeast and the Midwest.
According to the report, the vast majority (92 percent) of law enforcement departments and police agencies had no record of a person wearing body protection equipment.
Some of the departments that had no records on the number of people who wore body armour said they would only report to NICS if they had a documented reason for doing so, including a threat of bodily harm or death.
In New York, the AP found that at least 19 of the 25 departments that reported no record on the use of body armour were not equipped to track the number and type of body armor worn.
Some departments that did report were also in the midst of investigations or prosecutions into their employees who had been accused of using body armor.
Some law enforcement officers said that they believed their department was not required to report the number or type of equipment a person was wearing, even if it was recorded by the NICS.
Some police chiefs and other officers said they thought the information was not mandatory.
But others said that the information could be helpful in the future, especially when people wear body armor in public.
Some officers said the number could be useful because it might provide officers with a better sense of what types of threats were being made, and would allow them to be more alert to situations that may involve a person being armed.
One officer said the information might help them in an emergency situation where the suspect is armed and dangerous.
“They’re going to think you’re going for a gunfight,” he said.
“You can’t run if you’re not wearing body gear.”
A spokesman for the Department of Justice, which is prosecuting the cases, said the department is committed to ensuring that law enforcement and the public have access to all information.
He said the agency is in the process of establishing a new policy on how departments should report the use and misuse of body equipment.
The NICS did not provide an official number on how many agencies were in compliance with the requirement, but several law enforcement officials told the AP that the number was well below the 20,200 reported.
A spokesperson for the Justice Department said that it is in ongoing discussions with state, local and tribal governments to determine whether the federal government will enforce its requirements.
He added that the department will continue to encourage agencies to work collaboratively to develop policies that provide the highest level of accountability and transparency for all law enforcement personnel and officers.