Best Stories of 2013: Bulletproof BackpacksFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Continuing our favorite WDAY stories from 2013, all parents want to give their kids the tools they need to succeed. And some companies say you should also give them tools for survival. After the school shooting at Sandy Hook just over a year ago, sales of bulletproof backpacks went through the roof.
By: Becky Parker, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Continuing our favorite WDAY stories from 2013, all parents want to give their kids the tools they need to succeed.
And some companies say you should also give them tools for survival.
After the school shooting at Sandy Hook just over a year ago, sales of bulletproof backpacks went through the roof.
Add a new school accessory to the pencils, notebooks, and boxes of crayons.
Shootings at colleges, high schools, and elementary schools like Sandy Hook have brought bulletproof backpacks into the picture.
And the companies that sell these products are seeing their sales hit all-time highs.
Elmar Uy/Bullet Blocker CEO: "The Sandy Hook shooting kind of put these types of companies on the map."
Elmar Uy is the CEO of Bullet Blocker - based in Billerica, Massachusetts.
While their overall sales have increased more than 100% since Sandy Hook their backpack products have skyrocketed almost 1,000%.
Uy: "We used to sell about 10 to 15 backpacks in a good week. Since the shooting, it's been about 50-100 backpacks a day."
We are going to test out this Back Pack Shield and this Bullet Blocker. Both products are meant to be held up as a shield. Neither of these is designed to stop a high powered rifle, like an AR-15 but we are going to see how they hold up to a 9 mm handgun.
We'll check and see how the Back Pack Shield held up. It looks like the bullets went right through these books we put in there. And now the shield. It didn't even go through.
Now, we'll see how the Bullet Blocker held up. You can see there are bullet holes in the front, but none in the back and it feels like our bullets are inside, so this one held up very well."
Druhin Bala/NDSU Master’s Student: "I think it just adds to the panic. If I'm wearing a bulletproof backpack, I am going to be thinking, 'is that guy going to shoot me, is that guy going to shoot me?'"
Kellie Brady/Parent: "I think it's great. They should make bulletproof coats."
Kellie Brady and her family, including two elementary-aged children, moved to Fargo from Salt Lake City two years ago.
She says moving to Fargo was like moving to a different world, where bulletproof backpacks don't seem necessary.
Brady: "If we were still in Utah, I probably would, but not here. I feel safe here, to be honest."
So, though she thinks it’s a good idea, one of these probably won't be on her school supply shopping list.
A company in Colombia has also started making bulletproof products for children this year.
It says it started production due to the high demand for the product in the United States.