does anyone know if it is possible to "shield" other layers from path selection? for example lets say I have 3 layers with different vector shapes in each one that overlap eachother in some points. if I click on layer 3 I want to edit the vector in layer 3 only and i don't want photoshop to select and move to vectors from layers below it.
You can better target vector paths by using the Paths Panel.
Unfortunately, in Photoshop "lock" doesn't actually mean lock in many cases. I've submitted a few feature requests asking for lock to disable object selections, but so far nothing has been implemented.