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After recent shootings, sales of bulletproof backpacks soar

[THE COLLAB./PEXELS]
By Gary Dinges gdinges@gatehousemedia.com
Posted: Aug. 5, 2019 1:13 pm Updated: Aug. 5, 2019 1:21 pm

In light of recent mass shootings, many parents are planning to send their kids to school this fall with bullet-resistant backpacks.

They're being sold by a growing number of online and brick-and-mortar retailers, including Office Depot. Prices start around $100, with some higher-end models selling for more than $200.

The backpacks, which can be used as shields when gunfire erupts at school or elsewhere, have ballistics panels sewn into them, made of the same material — Kevlar — that's used in bulletproof vests worn by police. They look similar to regular backpacks and don't weigh much more, according to Tucson, Arizona, TV station KGUN.

One company, Bullet Blocker, advertises that its backpacks can protect from bullets fired from a number of commonly owned guns, including a .357 Magnum.

Yasir Sheikh, founder of Guard Dog Security, told KGUN that sales typically spike after mass shootings, such as the ones in Ohio and Texas over the weekend. He hopes the backpacks give students and parents peace of mind, but acknowledges that more needs to be done to prevent gun-related deaths at schools and elsewhere.

"I personally think whether it's with our bulletproof backpacks, or not, it's about starting that conversation of school safety, about possible active-shooter situations," Sheikh told the station.

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