KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - It's something many parents never had to think about, until recently - bulletproof backpacks.
A parent's nightmare - sending their kids to school and they don’t’ come home. It's on the minds of parents, educators and leaders in search of solutions. Metal detectors, clear backpacks, even arming teachers with guns are just some steps school districts are taking.
But is a bulletproof backpack something that could actually save your child in a school shooting situation? Our sister station in Tennessee took one to a firing range to find out.
The backpack model is called the Guard Dog Security Proshield 2. Retired FBI agent John McMurtrie said you would have no idea looking at the backpack that is it reinforced to take a bullet.
The test begins with a .45 caliber pistol. The bulletproof backpack has a level 3A protection, which means it should stop the bullet and during the test it did.
McMurtrie said the backpack did what it was supposed to do and while the bullet was stopped, the student would still feel the impact.
“It would probably feel like they got punched in the back hard or hit by a baseball bat,” McMurtrie said.
Injured but protected.
“They would definitely feel it, but it would stop it,” McMurtrie said.
The results show that the bulletproof backpack protests as advertised. Side by side the bulletproof backpack looks the same as a regular one but the protection is dramatically different.
“If a parent has the option to buy something like that, it is an extra level of protection for their child,” McMurtrie said. “If you need it and don’t have it, that’s an awful situation. If you have it and don’t need it, that the ideal situation.”
The backpack used in the test came from Amazon and cost around $150 dollars. Other backpacks with the same 3-A protection rating range from $150 to $500.