TREASURE COAST - Back-to-school shopping for children and school staff now includes consideration of bulletproof protection available in backpacks, sling packs, and tote bags.
Hometown News found several options available locally and many more online through OfficeMax, Office Depot, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Amazon.com.
Guard Dog Security is the company that seems to be most aggressively courting the parents of school aged children. It is based in Sanford, where president Yasir Sheikh came up with the idea after the Sandy Hook school shooting.
That company’s ProShield line of bulletproof and bullet resistant backpacks were viewed at OfficeMax in Vero Beach.
At the OfficeMax/Office Depot website, bullet-resistant and bulletproof backpacks cost $119-$175, depending on features desired. All we viewed included notations that they are TSA-approved for airport travel. Some include a RFID protection compartment for identity security.
The ProShield backpack at OfficeMax for $119, like most bulletproof backpacks, looks like a normal backpack and weighs only a few ounces more. According to Guard Dog Security, the “soft tactical armor” built into the backpack is “tested by an independent third-party laboratory under the experimental conditions of bullet resistance for protective materials category established by the Department of Justice National Institute of Justice (NIJ STD 0108.01 Level IIIA).”
A laboratory report is included with purchases showing that the backpack withstood 10 shots from just over eight feet from a .44 caliber and a 9-millimeter handgun.
The ProShield Smart bulletproof backpack for $189 includes a built-in charging bank to directly charge mobile devices, and a hands-free phone holder on the strap that keeps a device secure at all times without falling at any angle.
In a YouTube video in which the company tests the ProShield Smart Bulletproof Backpack, several rounds are fired from a 9 mm handgun and a .44 magnum handgun, and there was no penetration.
If you search Guard Dog Security on YouTube you can see the company testing many of its backpacks, plus independent reviews by others.
Guard Dog has a new, more protective bulletproof backpack going on sale this September, the ProShield Flex, which will have twice the bulletproof coverage of any of the company’s backpacks. From a graphic at the company’s website, it appears to include an additional bulletproof flap that, when held in front of the body, can swing down and protect the legs, providing almost full-body coverage. The ProShield Flex will be available Sept. 15 for $299.
Options are also available for those who prefer a sling pack hanging in front, or a tote bag held on the side of the body.
The Streetwise Venture Level 3A Bulletproof Sling Pack, available online for $70, hangs in front of the body. The size is smaller, so it protects less of your body. It is tested to meet NIJ Level 3A bulletproof standards, meaning it can withstand almost all handgun rounds.
The Streetwise Pro-Tech Bulletproof Women’s Tote Bag, $90, is also tested to the same standards, providing protection against most handguns.
A portion of all purchases of Guard Dog Security bulletproof backpacks is given to Make Our Schools Safe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to protecting students and teachers by creating model schools, beginning in South Florida and spreading nationwide. The non-profit was born out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in 2018, when the founders lost their 14 year-old daughter, Alyssa Alhadeff.
For more information about Make Our Schools Safe, visit https://makeourschoolssafe.org/.
For more about Guard Dog Security bulletproof backpacks, visit https://guarddog-security.com.