After a certain age, practically every student starts slinging a backpack over his or her shoulder.
Buying one that's bulletproof could mean your student has an extra element of protection if the worst ever happens. We wanted to know how well they work.
FOX13 put a $200 bulletproof backpack to the test with Chip Holland at Gun Range USA in Memphis.
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"You hate that you have to protect your kids while they're in school,” Holland said. "It gives you a barrier to your most important parts."
Holland serves as the Vice President of Training and Education at Gun Range USA. He frequently conducts active shooter training, and is aware of all that can go wrong
“This is something that would help someone to get away if the backpack is taking the rounds and the person is not,” Holland said. “So, it could give you that moment to escape.”
We stuffed the backpack with books and notepads, the way most would be carried around. Then, we strapped it to the back of a dummy and used a 9-millimeter handgun.
"With as many books that are in there, I expect the books did a lot," Holland said.
The books alone were enough to stop the bullet. So, we removed the largest book and tried it again.The armor built into the backpack absorbed all the bullets.
Handguns like the 9-millimeter we used - have been the most commonly used weapon in mass
shootings since 1982. But during the most recent school shooting in parkland Florida the shooter used an A-R 15.
The company claims The National Institute of Justice certified this backpack to defeat a 9-millimeter round, but FOX13 has learned that is false.
Justice Department spokeswoman Kelly Laco sent FOX13 the following statement:
"The National Institute of Justice—the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice—has never tested nor certified ballistic items, such as backpacks, blankets, or briefcases, other than body armor for law enforcement. Marketing that claims NIJ testing or certification for such products is false."
The armor helped stop the 9mm. But, an AR-15 went right through it.
“Straight through the armor,” Holland said. “But that armor is not designed to stop that round.”
Holland believes the backpack is still worth the investment.
It does the job it's designed to do,” Holland said. “It sure does.”
We bought our backpack online. A Google search will give you plenty of options.
If you want to purchase the one we did, you can find it here.
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