Live 5 Investigates: Bulletproof Backpacks

Live 5 Investigates: Bulletproof Backpacks
1. The Guard Dog Security Proshield backpack after it was shot with a .357 SIG, .44 Magnum, and AR-15.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Some retailers claim their backpacks that bill themselves as "bulletproof" are so popular, they cannot keep them in stock for long.

But can these special backpacks truly keep school children safer by blocking bullets?

Live 5 News tested out the Guard Dog Security Proshield bulletproof backpack which sells for $189 from the manufacturer.

The backpack claims it is "NIJ Level IIIA Ballistic Tested and Approved."

According to the National Institute of Justice's Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor Standards, Type IIIA should protect against a .357 SIG and a .44 Magnum.

We conducted our test at A.T.P. Gun Shop and Range in Summerville.

The piece of armor located in the back of the backpack successfully stopped both bullets.

The backpack did not stop a round from an AR-15, though the manufacturer made no such claim.

The accused shooter used an AR-15 to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February.

We compared the bulletproof backpack to a regular backpack filled with five books.

The bullet from the .357 SIG became lodged in the second book.

The bullet from the .44 Magnum was stopped by the fifth book.

The bullet from the AR-15 passed through all books and exited out of the back of the backpack.

Though both backpacks offered similar protection, the size of the armor in the bulletproof backpack was larger than the surface area of the books.

Though it successfully blocked the particular bullets it claimed to protect against, the Department of Justice Department warns against such products.

In a written statement, Justice Department spokesperson Devin O'Malley said, "The National Institute of Justice—the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice—has never tested nor certified ballistic items, such as backpacks, blankets, or briefcases, other than body armor for law enforcement. Marketing that claims NIJ testing or certification for such products is false."

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