The Carterville man arrested Sunday outside of his apartment complex while in possession of an AR-15 rifle and wearing a green Army helmet and a ballistic vest will not be formally charged with unlawful use of body armor. 

Gregory Martin


Carterville Police Chief Heather Reno said Monday the police were called by a neighbor who saw Gregory Martin, 23, with an AR-15, wearing the vest and helmet, at about 7 a.m. Sunday morning.

Reno said the incident wasn't related to an altercation and the weapon was not fired. Also, she said when officers arrived, he was wearing what was described, but he did not make a scene and did not say anything before being ordered to the ground and arrested.

At the time of the arrest, he was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful use of body armor, aggravated assault and disorderly conduct. He was transported to Williamson County Jail.

Court records show Martin posted bond of $1,000 Tuesday. Those same records also indicate Williamson County State's Attorney Brandon Zanotti is not charging Martin with unlawful use of body armor and disorderly conduct.

Carterville man armed with AR-15 and wearing body armor arrested

Although Martin was not formally charged with unlawful use of body armor, there has been some confusion as to why this is even a crime. According to Illinois statute, a person commits the offense of unlawful use of body armor when he or she knowingly wears body armor while in possession of a dangerous weapon.

The body armor can be described as a military-style flak or tactical assault vest made of Kevlar or similar material — basically, anything designed to be worn over one’s clothing for the intended purpose of stopping fire from rifles, machine guns and other explosives.

Additional descriptions of body armor can be found in the Illinois General Assembly’s criminal code.

The term 'dangerous weapon' means a Category I, II, or III weapon as defined in the code. An automatic rifle is defined as Category I.


on twitter: @zd2000


Dustin Duncan is a reporter for The Southern Illinoisan covering Carbondale.

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