The spike in bulletproof backpacks sales started after the deadly high school shooting in Florida as parents devised ways to ensure the safety of their children.
According to Joe Curran, founder of BulletBlocker, a bulletproof equipment maker based in Massachusetts, his company witnessed a 200-300% increase in sales after the Florida incident. Today, parents continue to buy backpacks and backpack inserts. Curren is an ex U.S. Army Ranger and firearms instructor whose need to protect his two children pushed him to start BulletBlocker in 2007 following the Virginia Tech massacre.
Check out what Curran revealed about using a bulletproof backpack:
You can only be protected against handguns – The construction of bulletproof backpacks isn’t strong enough for rifle bullets. So their protection is only limited to handguns and pistols. Unfortunately, mass shooters mostly use rifles such as AR-15.
The companies that make them use only Kevlar-like material which is classified as “Level 3A”. So, the material is a soft body armor which means it’s not bulletproof to every bullet. These bulletproof backpacks are lighter like regular backpacks because building them with ballistic-resistant solid plates will make too heavy, especially for children.
The backpacks are expensive – The cost of bulletproof backpacks is pretty high as they go for between $200-$500. What is a little less expensive are the bullet-resistant inserts designed for regular backpacks. Curren says stacking multiple inserts into your regular backpack won’t increase your safety. So, it’s best to insert only one as recommended. Besides, students leave their backpacks inside their lockers, which means they won’t protect themselves during an emergency.
Bulletproof backpacks expire in 5 years – Apart from a 5 year expiration time, you may also be forced to replace the backpack after leaving it in the sun or heat which can easily damage it. Such a case warrants that you replace it. Besides, forget about the thought of buying a used bulletproof backpack because it’s a bad idea.
The Justice Department Certifies bulletproof products – Accordingly, all the bulletproof products you purchase must be NIJ certified and displayed on the said company’s website.