Can a Bulletproof Backpack Save Your Life in a School Shooting? Inside Edition Tests Them Out

Playing What Happened When Inside Edition Tested Bulletproof Backpacks

Bulletproof backpacks are becoming more and more common as parents seek ways to protect their children from potential school shootings

Sales of the special packs are up 300% as the new school year approaches.

The backpacks are rated IIIA, claiming to stop bullets from a 9mm handgun to a .44 Magnum. Some have special panels sewn into them, while others feature removable bulletproof inserts. 

But do they actually work? With the help of Taran Butler, owner of Taran Tactical Innovations in Los Angeles, Inside Edition put them to the test.

First up was a 9mm pistol. The backpacks stood up to it, no problem, with the round barely denting them.

Next was a .44 Magnum, which is twice as powerful as the pistol. The backpacks offered some protection, but Butler noted that it was likely the impact of the bullets would lead to some broken ribs. 

Finally, Inside Edition tested out the backpacks' efficacy against an AR-15-style rifle, a weapon used in many school shootings, including in Parkland, Florida

The backpacks were no match for the powerful weapon. 

"If you were wearing this and you were shot with this ..." trailed off Inside Edition Chief Correspondent Jim Moret. 

"You are dead," said Butler.

Inside Edition reached out to the backpack manufacturers, who said in a statement: "Our backpacks are rated Level IIIA according to standards set forth by the National Institute of Justice for Level IIIA protection of protective materials.

"They are not rated to stop bullets from an AR-15, which would entail the user carrying/wearing a heavy and thick plate, not practical for daily carry. The material we use for Level IIIA protection allows for lightweight and durable wear, similar to what is used by law enforcement officers."

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