Bulletproof backpacks: They are real and being tested

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Bulletproof backpacks - a product that was once considered taboo - are now becoming a reality.

A Florida 19-year-old is suspected of carrying out the deadliest school shooting in the state's history. The Feb. 14 shooting left 17 people dead and many more injured. Terrified students uploaded videos to social media during the shooting. 

A Florida-based company makes a backpack that they claim is tested and and certified against 44.-caliber and 9-millimeter bullets.

To test that guarantee, our sister station, Action News Jax, brought the backpack to a shooting range and put it up against various firearms. With nothing inside the backpack, they used a .22 Magnum, a 9-millimeter, a .40-caliber handgun and a 12-gauge shotgun.

The armor alone was able to stop the handguns and shotgun from penetrating the backpack completely. We then added three textbooks into the backpack and fired the same handguns. The textbooks prevented the bullets from reaching the armor.

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However, the textbooks and armor were not able to stop an AR-15 loaded with a full-metal jacket bullet.

According to its Amazon page, the $169 backpack is currently sold out. Another version, costing $189, is available.

Safety experts said having books in a child’s backpack provides an extra layer of defense.

“Anything you can do to prevent that from happening, which this backpack is able to do without the books, is going to help save your life,” Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson said.

Yasir Sheikh, President of Guard Dog Security, maker of the backpack, said they aren’t preying on parents’ fears.

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“It’s not as foreign anymore,” Sheikh said. “A few years ago, people would kind of frown at bulletproof backpacks, but people have accepted the idea.”

He said the bulletproof backpack is one of their key products and after a school shooting, they immediately see a spike in sales.