The bulletproof backpack: does it work?

By Dan Wells – bio | email

CINCINNATI (FOX19) – In an effort to protect children from an increasing number of guns in schools, a Massachusetts company has developed a backpack it claims can stop bullets.

The bulletproof backpack is manufactured by Bulletblocker, a company founded by two Massachusetts fathers who got the idea for their invention after the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings.

Recently, incidents in locals schools have Tri-state families thinking about security in the classroom, so FOX19 put the product to the test.

Bulletblocker has lined the back of its bags with a bullet resistant material they say can stop 90 percent of bullets.  At first glance, the bulletproof backpack appears very well constructed.  It's light (about five pounds), with plenty of pockets and straps for large items.  In fact, it looks like a common, everyday backpack, except according to its creators, it can stop a bullet.

But the bags don't come cheap, and at a cost of nearly $200, you would want to find out if they really work. To conduct a test, FOX19 contacted Jack Basham, a certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor at Butler Tech.

First, we shot at the bulletproof backpack with a .9 caliber revolver, then a .40 caliber revolver, and finally a .44 caliber revolver, which is the largest type of bullet the manufacturers claim the backpack can stop.  The bag was worn by target dummy.

"We had some blunt trauma," Jack Basham said as he inspected the dummy.

The force of the bullet didn't rip the targets shirt, but could have shattered a rib, causing massive bruising.  But it stopped the bullet, which did not penetrate the backpack.

Since this bag costs nearly $200, we wanted to know if we could get the same bullet-blocking results from a regular bag filled with school books.

The bullets Basham fired at an $8 backpack actually did the same thing, nearly two inches of books and school supplies blocked the bullets from a  .44 caliber revolver, too.  The books in this case stopped the bullets, which did not penetrate the backpack.

Basham said the testing was enough proof the bulletproof backpack really does work.

For more information about the bulletproof backpack, click here to visit the manufacturer's website.

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.