Companies that sell “bulletproof backpacks” and backpack armor inserts say they saw record sales for their products after an 18-year-old gunman shot and killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
“In less than 24 hours after the shooting, we’ve reached our highest sales record to date. The majority of which are for backpack armors most likely from concerned parents who are looking to secure protection for their children,” said Kevin Lim, CEO of Bulletproof Zone.
The five-year-old, Honolulu-based company makes tactical gear, body armor, bulletproof clothing and other ballistic gear.
The company says there has seen increasing demand for body armor, ballistic gear and other safety equipment since its inception in 2017. This includes larger, temporary spikes in sales and website traffic due to high-profile incidents involving gun violence, riots, political events and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Atomic Defense, a California-based company that makes similar products, reports seeing the same type of sales spike just hours after the school shooting in Uvalde.
“We are seeing a very large increase in concerned parents making purchases of backpacks and other non-police focused body armor — about a 570% increase when compared to normal,” a spokesman from Atomic Defense said in an email.
“Body armor categories like vests and armor plates have seen about a 10% bump … one of the features that make our backpack products unique is that they can protect against the common AR-15 (5.56) ammunition that school shooters and mass shooters are using,” the spokesman said. “That’s accomplished while weighing the same as a laptop!”
ShotStop Ballistics, which has been around for 30 years, has developed backpack plate armor inserts. According to a spokesman, online retail sales numbers are up since the school shooting at Robb Elementary School.