PITTSBURGH (KDKA/CBS News) — Bullet-resistant backpacks are now on sale at several Office Depot stores in the Pittsburgh area.
The retailer has stocked shelves with the Guard Dog Security brand backpacks billed by the manufacturer as bulletproof.
A check by KDKA found that the backpacks are available at Office Max stores in Bridgeville, Ross Township, Washington, and Cranberry Township.
According to the label from the manufacturer, the bags offer Level IIIA protection, which means they will stop a .44 magnum handgun, but not a high-velocity rifle.
The backpacks are retailing for $150-$200.
Until now, most bullet-resistant bags had to be ordered online directly from the specialty companies that manufactured them, but their popularity has skyrocketed, and ballistic backpacks are also sold online through major retailers such as Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Kmart.
Since the Parkland school shooting, sales are estimated to have doubled or tripled. Now, they’re showing up in stores.
Yashi Sheikh, founder of Guard Dog Security, says he wants parents or students to be prepared rather than afraid.
“We’re not saying, ‘Buy a backpack, it’ll solve everything,”‘ he said. “We’re saying this will put you in a better position in the case of a school shooting than someone who doesn’t have a bulletproof backpack.”