But two Arkansas men could still be in legal jeopardy after a night of drinking led them to test the vests by shooting at each other, officials said.
According to a police report, Charles Eugene Ferris was wearing a bullet-proof vest and drinking on his back porch with Christopher Hicks when he asked his neighbour to shoot him.
When interviewed by deputies, Ferris initially claimed that he was paid $200 to protect an 'asset, ' and that he was shot six times guarding his charge from a man in a white suit at Hobbs State Park at around 10pm, reported 5 News Online.
Ferris said the pair went out into the woods and met another man around 10 p.m. The man allegedly shot at the "asset" from the edge of a tree line, and a gunfight broke out.
According to Ferris, the "asset" dropped him off at his vehicle before he dumped his weapons and drove to the hospital.
They say Ferris was wearing the vest and told the 36-year-old to shoot him in the chest.
Ferris later admitted he made up the story about protecting an "asset" because he didn't want to get Hicks in trouble, the newspaper reported.
Ferris said he wanted Hicks to shoot him with the vest on, and Hicks complied by shooting Ferris "in the chest one time with a.22 caliber semi-automatic rifle", according to an affidavit filed by the Benton County Sheriff's Office. The affidavit says the shot left a red mark on Ferris' chest and that he was angry because it hurt.
According to a police report cited by NBC affiliate, WLWT5, Ferris "unloaded the clip into Christopher's back", leaving him with a series of painful bruises - but no wounds. His wife told investigators Ferris and Hicks had been drinking on the deck of their home when she heard a gunshot. A judge also issued a non-contact order to keep the duo apart.
Both men's arraignments are slated for May 13 in Benton County Circuit Court.
In Arkansas, Class D felonies are punishable by up to six years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.