Sale of bulletproof backpacks, kids' body armor skyrocket after Connecticut school shooting
Sales for bulletproof backpacks and child-sized body armor manufactured by a Utah company have increased 500 percent after last week's shooting at a school in Connecticut, company officials have said.
Derek Williams, director of sales and marketing for Amendment II, said that the Salt Lake City-based firm has seen 'incredible demand' for its pint-sized products that feature lightweight armor called RynoHide.
"We've seen incredible demand, sales have gone up 500 percent for those particular products," Williams said, adding: "It's just gone through the roof."
According to Fox News, the backpacks, which retail for as little as 300 dollars, will stop a bullet fired from a .357 Magnum and feature an armor component that weighs just 10 ounces, Williams said.
"It's so lightweight, it only adds 10 ounces to their backpack," the father of six told FoxNews.com, adding: "Would this armor have helped the kids in Connecticut? We don't know, but any armor is better than no armor."
Williams has rejected any suggestion that the company is seeking to cash in on the shooting in which a deranged man killed 20 children and six adults at the school using a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle.
"We do not want to sensationalize this any more than it already is," he said.
"The fact of the matter is, in today's world, this need exists and if we have the technology to protect people, why would we not allow them to purchase it?" he added.
The company has received 'quite disturbing' phone calls recently, Williams said, including correspondence from Italy.
"They're calling us murderous, hateful pieces of garbage," he said, adding: "We're being painted as warmongers here."
Parents, meanwhile, had mixed reactions to the concept of bulletproof backpacks, with some believing they would instill even more fear into young students.
"I'd rather have an administrator or a teacher be armed and trained to handle situations like that if they were to occur," Laron Zaugg told Fox 13.
"But having a child always having to think about that and be prepared for that every day as they get ready for school would be way over the top," Zaugg added.