ATLANTA, Ga. -- While politicians argue on Capitol Hill over how to protect school children, some parents are taking matters into their own hands by sending their kids to school with body armor.
Channel 2 crews visited one facility that makes the bulletproof backpacks and tested to see if they could protect children from the type of attack that happened in Newtown, Conn.
Channel 2 ordered the Bullet Blocker Backpack immediately after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but it took weeks to arrive because of a backlog in orders. It was on sale for $200.
The backpack itself isn't bulletproof, but an insert inside is bullet resistant. It's rated NIJ 3 A, similar to what police officers use in their body armor. The brochure claims it can stop a variety of bullets, mainly handgun and shotgun rounds.
Channel 2 asked former Georgia Bureau of Investigation firearms expert Kelly Fite to test out the backpack using the same methods Bullet Blocker used in its own research.
The backpacks were struck at a firing range with multiple guns, using .357, .45, .22, and 9 mm rounds. The backpack was placed on a mannequin about 16 feet from the table where the weapons were fired.
"We have the bullet entry here, and you can feel the impact on this side, but they did not penetrate," said Fite as he examined the insert.
The backpack was even shot point blank with a 9 mm weapon. The blast took the label off the backpack, but the bullet was lodged securely inside the vest.
But the real test was whether it would hold up against an AR-15, a similar assault rifle to the Bushmaster rifle Adam Lanza used in the Sandy Hook shooting and the M&P 15 used in the recent Colorado movie theater massacre.