It’s back to school season and companies are adding bulletproof backpacks on the list.
Amid the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, some companies like Guard Dog Security and Tuffypacks are selling bullet proof backpacks for children to retailers like Office Depot and OfficeMax, the Associated Press reported. (REATED: Bulletproof Kevlar Backpacks To Hit Shelves In U.S., Built To Withstand Handgun Attacks)
Yasir Sheikh, president and founder of Skyline USA, the company that makes Guard Dog Security products, said, “The backpack has been a popular item, we have sold out a few times this year.”
Parents, however, are skeptical in a backpack’s ability to protect and companies’ motivations. Some say businesses are just profiting off of disastrous events.
“The only people enjoying it are the people selling the backpacks. They’re making plenty of money right now. And they’re doing it off of something that was very unfortunate,” Ponnell Scroggins of Milwaukee, father of six children, told ABC News.
Experts are also questioning the effectiveness of these backpacks. Despite manufacturers saying their products meet regulatory standards, Lynn Westover, a 12-year veteran in the Marine Corps, performed an experiment on these backpacks using a Smith & Wesson M&P15T, .223 caliber and shot the backpack three times. All shots went right through the backpack. “This backpack is not gonna stop that,” said Westover. “It’s not gonna stop any rifle.”
Mary Katherine Backstrom, a mom from Florida, stated having children carrying around the backpacks may place an emotional burden on them. “The idea of handing [my 5-year-old] a backpack and explaining that he should use it to shield his body from bullets is beyond comprehension to me.” Backstrom is also a member of Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America.
Recently, Walt Disney urged Tuffypacks to stop using Disney characters on their bullet proof products, which were not authorized by Disney. Tuffypacks will be pulling those products. (RELATED: Disney Demands Company Stop Selling Avengers And Princess-Themed Bulletproof Backpacks)