Testing the effectiveness of bulletproof backpacks

Local News

It’s a disturbing reality as kids go back to school. Bulletproof backpacks are now on store shelves across central Ohio. The biggest companies that make them said they’re selling more than ever before. But, do they work? We had one of the most popular bulletproof backpacks tested at the shooting range.

With an average price tag of $100 to nearly $200 we wanted to know if they’re worth the investment and if they really could keep a child safe in the case of a school shooting. So, we had a local police officer test its capabilities at the shooting range.

We took one of the most popular bulletproof backpacks on the market, the Guard Dog Security ProShield 2 bulletproof backpack, to L.E.P.D Firearms and Range in Columbus to have it tested by Police Officer Eric Delbert.

The company said the backpack is laboratory tested and certified to stop a round from a .44 Magnum or 9mm handgun.

We headed into the shooting range to see if it lived up to its claims.

First up, the 9mm.

“No puncture wounds,” said Officer Delbert checking the bag after firing one shot.

“It stopped it well, nothing on the backside,” he said. “It did its job.”

Next up, a much more powerful handgun, the .44 Magnum. Again, we checked the bag after and—

“It stopped the round, but it pushed it to its limit. You’re still going to feel the impact of that,” he said.

After, we cut open the bag to reveal layers of Kevlar, the bullets lodged inside.

Officer Delbert said it’s important for parents to know the bag has limits.

“It won’t stop any of the rifles. Any of the rifle rounds.”

He said if you’re considering a bulletproof backpack, buy from reputable companies that specialize in body armor for law-enforcement or military. Know the limitations of the product. Again, the backpacks won’t stop a bullet from a shotgun or rifle. Have a conversation with your child about how to use the backpack, for example as a shield. And, know your options. Some schools don’t allow backpacks in the halls. Officer Delbert said you can buy a bulletproof insert to slip into any bag.

After seeing the results we asked him if he would consider a bulletproof backpack for his children.

“You have to put it into perspective. This isn’t the cure-all. This isn’t I’m going to buy my son or daughter a backpack and not have to worry when they got to school. It’s not that we don’t need to look at securing doors and everything else, it’s one piece of the overall picture of it. You can see it doesn’t stop everything,” he said.

We also tested the bag with the shotgun and rifle. The bag stopped the shotgun blast from exiting the backpack, but officer Delbert said the internal injuries from a shot like that could have been deadly. The rifle shot tour through the bag, went through six inches of clay, and through a piece of plywood on the back.

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