UK & World News

  • 20 December 2012, 17:38

US Shooting Spurs Bulletproof Backpack Sales

Sales of bulletproof backpacks have soared in the days after the shootings of 20 young children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

One company, Amendment II, sells Avengers and Little Mermaid-themed bags for boys and girls respectively, with integrated protective armour inserts.

"Sewn into the rear of the pack, you can always be confident that the armour hasn't been accidentally left at home and that you or your child are protected in case of the unthinkable," the company promises.

Other companies have also seized the moment to push sales. Prices range from $150 (92) to almost $500 (308).

BulletBlocker claims to have sold around 40 per day since last Friday's massacre.

"Light, easy to use, it is as big as a book," says Elmar Uy, vice president at the New Hampshire company.

"We don't guarantee anything. It is just peace of mind, security for parents."

Devin Standard says his company, Black Dragon Tactical, has been selling 30 "ballistic panels" a day.

"The question is: is your life worth $229? Most people, when they think about this, they say, 'Yes,'" Mr Standard said.

"If you have a car, you have car insurance. If you have a house, you have home insurance. It (the bulletproof panel) is always there, just in case you are at the wrong place one day."

The reaction to the Connecticut school shooting can also be seen at gun stores and self-defence retailers across the nation.

A spike in gun sales is common after a mass shooting, but the latest rampage generated record sales in some states, particularly of assault weapons similar to the AR-15 rifle the gunman used at Sandy Hook.

Aaron Byrd, co-owner of Patriot Shooting Sports in Youngsville, North Carolina, sold out of the rifle and the high-capacity magazines that go with it.

"Things have been crazy the past couple of days. A lot of people have been coming in looking to purchase semi-automatic rifles," he said.

"They're worried that the government's going to ban semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines, so they've been coming in looking for those."

Colorado set a single-day record for gun background check requests the day after the shootings, while Nevada saw more checks in the two days that followed than any other weekend this year.

Records were also set in Tennessee, California and Virginia, among others.