PRICHARD, WV (WOWK) – Bulletproof backpack sales are up as parents across the country appear to be sending their children to school with extra protection following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers.
Each backpack insert can cost between $100-$400.
Shop owners describe them as “lighter than a textbook” and explained they come in different shapes to fit into the backpack perfectly and different sizes depending on the child’s size and to protect against certain types of bullets.
One local shop says whereas these would typically sit on the shelves, recently, they’ve been going quick.
“If we get 24, we’ll sell 24 in a week,” explained Bobby Zeek, the tactical consultant for Sportsman Gun and Pawn in Barboursville.
He says, before this point, they had never seen this type of demand.
“It was pretty slow moving, and then once the shootings happened, they’re gone. I mean it was daily, twice, two to three times a day. Now, we’re getting phone calls constantly,” Zeek explained.
And a little further south, a bulletproof insert maker in Virginia say they’re getting requests like never before.
“We are getting more calls, but we’re also not just getting calls for the ballistic panels. We are getting more calls from police departments for their SRO’s (school resource officers), as do we offer products that can help them in an active shooter situation, since they are by themselves when all of this first happens,” says Erin Mckee, with CW Armor in Roanoke, VA.
She says after school shootings across the country, her children have had plates in their backpacks since preschool.
And now, with demand growing, they’re putting in more time to ensure they can supply.