Will bulletproof backpacks be on next year’s school supplies list?

News

With school shootings being frequently reported across the country, one Janesville gun shop is offering students some protection when they go to school, with bulletproof inserts for backpacks.

The ballistic plates are designed to protect students from shotgun and handguns. The owners of CTR Firearms in Janesville say that with all of the school shootings recently, they’re having trouble keeping the backpacks in stock.

CTR Firearms owner Chris Endres says bulletproof backpacks are now in demand. “There’s shooting after shooting after shooting lately, and the backpack is just one thing you can do to protect your kids,” he said.

Endres says he discovered the backpacks at an industry convention last year. Those he sells go for about  $160.

“We put them in here because I felt that my kids needed them and I figured if I felt the need, then somebody else would, too,” he explains.

The backpack has multiple compartments and enough room for school supplies. The back of the backpack is reserved for protective plates, one for the back and the other for the front.

“You hear a gunshot, or you hear people scream, whatever the case may be that you’re worried, or you’re walking home and you start freaking out, all you do is grab these two straps and just flip this around the back of you. Now you have armor in the front and in the back,” he said, demonstrating the ability of the backpack to be used in multiple configurations.

The bag weighs about three pounds. Because of it’s lighter body armor, Endres says the backpack isn’t resistant to all bullets, but he feels it’s still worth having the protection.

“They’re designed to withstand .44 Magnum [rounds and lower caliber bullets,” he said. “They’re not really designed to stop a rifle round, but they will do quite a bit to slow it down and stop [some] of the damage that it will cause.”

Endres believes the backpacks are capable of saving not just the lives of the student carrying it, but many others, too.

“Our thought was, if five or six kids in every classroom had these, they could literally all sit down and put up a wall,” he added.

CTR Firearms started by stocking twenty-five backpacks and they are now down to only seven.

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