Can Civilians Walk in Public with Tactical Gear?


Today, tactical gear is more prevalent than ever. Sales are over the roof, and many outdoor enthusiasts own at least a piece of tactical equipment. Yet, it’s common sense that some of the equipment will be illegal to walk with in public.

Civilians can walk with tactical gear in public; However, with a few exceptions; firearms, non-lethal weapons, and camouflaged clothing. Additionally, all other gear that may cause a threat to the public is illegal. Hence before you walk in public with your tactical equipment, ensure it’s legal. 

This article will demonstrate some instances when performing such an act is legal or the opposite. As a result, if you possess various types of equipment, you’ll know whether you can use it or walk with it in public. 

An important note is that some countries have different rules than their peers. Therefore, while walking with your gear in public may be legal in one country, it won’t be in another. 

For instance, pocket knives are an incredible example because every country and state has its local knife legislation. As a result, you must read the law to know whether you can carry it in public. I wrote an article on international knife legislation examples. I encourage you to read it as it correlates with this article. 

Legal tactical gear

Before we move on to the first examples of legal tactical gear, I want to mention that checking your country’s and city’s local laws is critical for remaining out of trouble. Local authorities occasionally catch you performing an illegal act, and thus, you’ll be in trouble. 

Because of that, when you’re finished reading this article, ensure you check your local laws regarding the specific equipment you’d like to carry in public. Thus you’ll remain safe and ensure others’ safety as well.


The primary legal tactical equipment most outdoor activities possess- is some type of clothing. However, there’s an exception to this rule. Following that, we’ll demonstrate some examples of legal clothing you can wear in public. 

First, combat and tactical shirts are one of the primary pieces of clothing people possess. And frankly, it’s the one that provides the most utility. As a result, wearing it- will also reap many benefits, such as having shirt pockets and being breathable, waterproof, and comfortable. 

martial arts special forces
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

However, some countries won’t allow you to wear camouflaged shirts, such as the ones that are similar to those of the local military. Justify, this can cause various instances where people confuse you with a soldier, which will cause trouble.

Secondly, tactical pants, even with kneepads, are legal to wear. Nonetheless, if you have a tactical, people may confuse you with local authorities, which is illegal. However, combat pants alone are legal, even camouflaged, as they won’t cause confusion. 

Hobby’s related equipment

Whether you’re a fisherman, a hiker, or participate in any outdoor activity, you can carry the gear attached to your hobby. For instance, having a fishing rod in public- is legal. 

The primary rule you should follow is- if you can buy the item in a store, it’s most likely legal. Some exceptions to this rule are firearms. For example, in most countries, you can purchase guns or knives directly from shops. In that case, following the law- may lead you to trouble since it may be illegal in your area. 

Where I live, you can buy pistols from shops. Yet, you need a license. If you’re a hunter, per se, carrying your hunting gun in public- is illegal. Thus examining every rule in your country’s local rules- is vital and a must. 

Nevertheless, other hobby-related equipment, such as a tactical backpack, is mostly legal to carry. Think to yourself whether the tactical gear you have can harm others. If the answer is no, it’s most likely legal. 

Illegal tactical gear

Now that we understand which tactical gear is usually legal to carry in public let’s move to the more exciting part, which is the illegal area. Most likely, if authorities catch you carrying an illicit tactical piece of equipment, they may get you into trouble. As a result, avoiding the situation- is wiser than risking it. 


The first and also the most critical one- is firearms. We have all witnessed what a single gun can cause. Because of that, if there’s one piece of equipment you shouldn’t carry- unless you possess appropriate permits, it’s any lethal weapon. 

For instance, a ballistic knife is a lethal weapon; thus, a firearm. As a result, it’s illegal in regulated countries. Therefore, if local authorities see you with a ballistic knife in public, they’ll probably arrest you. 

Before you carry any lethal weapon in public, ensure you have the proper permits to perform such an action. If you don’t, you’re committing a severe crime, and thus, you’ll be punished severely. 

Military equipment

On my website, I’ve reviewed dozens of military tactical equipment. For instance, tactical helmetsjackets, and even face masks. As a result, I know a thing or two about the legislation regarding such items. Well, they’re most illegal.

Military equipment is mainly illegal to carry in public because it, more often than not, will lead to a panic. For instance, if you decide to wear a tactical helmet, gloves, and a plate carrier, most people will call the police on you. Thus it’s illegal to do so. 

Special forces units shared their operators’ first batch of tactical equipment (mainly clothing). Hence Spec-Ops operators were the reason for the construction of such unique equipment. Because of that, we understand that the military first utilized it. 

Thus if you use or wear said military equipment in public, you’ll most likely call attention to you, which is never a good sign. 

Final words

Mostly, tactical gear is legal to wear or use in public. So, for instance, you can wear tactical shorts wherever you wish. Nonetheless, it’s plausible that the tactical equipment you have is illegal to carry in public. 

For instance, all the equipment that’ll make you look like military forces is illegal to use. All it’ll do is attract unwanted attention to you. As a result, you’ll get into a world of trouble. 


I've served in the military as a special forces operator for 4-years. In that period, I've trained in many martial arts, including karate, MMA, BJJ, boxing, and even Krav Maga. I want to share my passion with you, so here it is!

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