Spokane, Wash. — Bullet-resistant backpacks are now on sale at three Office Depot stores in Spokane and one OfficeMax store in nearby Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
The retailer has stocked shelves with the Guard Dog Security brand backpacks billed by the manufacturer as bulletproof.
A check by CBS News found that the backpacks are also available from the Office Depot/OfficeMax website.
In November, KREM’s Minneapolis sister station, KARE, looked into whether the bags can keep kids safer. A member of law enforcement reminded people that nothing is bulletproof – rather, the bags are bullet-resistant.
According to the label from the manufacturer, the bags offer Level IIIA protection, which means they will stop a .44 magnum handgun, but not a high-velocity rifle.
The backpacks are retailing for $150-$200.
Until now, most bullet-resistant bags had to be ordered online directly from the specialty companies that manufactured them, but their popularity has skyrocketed, and ballistic backpacks are also sold online through major retailers such as Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Kmart.
Since the Parkland school shooting, sales are estimated to have doubled or tripled. Now, they’re showing up in stores.
Yashi Sheikh, founder of Guard Dog Security, says he wants parents or students to be prepared rather than afraid.
“We’re not saying, ‘Buy a backpack, it’ll solve everything,”‘ he said. “We’re saying this will put you in a better position in the case of a school shooting than someone who doesn’t have a bulletproof backpack.”
Some school districts throughout the country have banned the bullet resistant backpacks.
Spokane Public Schools spokesperson Brian Coddington said the school district does not have a policy on them.
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