Unsurprisingly, sales of bulletproof backpacks for schoolchildren is on the rise. Massachusetts-based company Bullet Blocker reported a 30% increase in orders the day after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Two days after that, Florida-based bulletproof backpack manufacturer Guard Dog Security reported a 150% increase, and at press time had run out of stock.
Bullet Blocker Guard Dog Security Bullet Blocker
The bulletproof backpacks from these manufacturers generally run in the $200 to $500 range and feature Kevlar inserts. As for the protection they offer, Yahoo News reports that
…the fabric "traps and slows down" bullets shot from a .357 Magnum, a .44 Magnum, a 9mm handgun, and a .45 caliber weapon.
"Recently, a woman in Hollywood, Calif., bought one for every child she knows, and the wife of a New England Patriots player ordered three for each of her children," says [Bullet Blocker founder Joe] Curran. "The idea is that kids can hold it up as a shield."
The calibers mentioned are for common handgun sizes. However the shooter at Parkland used an AR-15, which fires high-velocity rounds. ABC News hired a firearms instructor to pump rounds into one of the bags with both a Glock 19 handgun, which fires 9mm rounds, then an AR-15 to see the difference:
Neither company claims that their products will stop high-velocity rounds; indeed that would require steel plating, not Kevlar. For the forseeable future, the modern-day American parent will need to educate themselves on these matters.