Bulletproof school supplies put to the test - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

Bulletproof school supplies put to the test

Posted: Updated:
Bulletproof backpack (MGN) Bulletproof backpack (MGN)
FARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

Mass shootings, including the one that happened in our own state, still haunt many people.

Parents continue to question how to keep their children safe.

Bulletproof items are hitting the market as a way to keep student safety in mind.

Channel 3 teamed up with a local police department to put these "bulletproof" items to the test.

There was a high school in Parkland, FL, a Las Vegas concert, the Orlando nightclub, and closer to home, an elementary school in Newtown.

The weapon used in these shootings was the AR-15 style rifle.

These mass shootings in the United States have taken the lives of countless people.

Because of these shootings, bulletproof backpacks, three-ring binders, and clothing are being sold online.

Channel 3 decided to buy a few of these items, including a backpack which has a bulletproof panel inside it, and three-ring binders, to test them out.

“They're available. They are there and if they make people feel safer, then that's their choice if they want to use them,” said Lt. Patrick Buckley of the Farmington Police Department.

Channel 3 met up with members of the Farmington Police Department at their outdoor gun range.

Three different weapons, the 9 mm, the 45mm, and a 223 rifle, which is similar to the AR-15, were used to test these products.

First, the backpack was tested using a 9mm handgun.

“It penetrated the inside of the panel but not the outside. The round is still inside. You can see it right here,” said Buckley.

The bullet was stopped. It never traveled through the other side, which means it's bulletproof.

Next up, the 45mm was put to the test.

The backpack jumped, which likely means the bullet is staying inside the panel.

“This is the 45-round here and the bullet is still in there. And the bullet is still in there. This is the back piece,” Buckley said.

The bullet didn't travel through the backpack.

Then the 223 rifle was tested, which is similar to an AR-15 style weapon.

“That's the front, the strike and that went right through as expected,” said Buckley.

So this means it's not bulletproof. You can see that when he flips the backpack over.

“That's the rifle round exiting the backpack,” Buckley said.

The three-ring binder and folder were also tested.  

It was the same result as the backpack. With the 9mm and 45mm, the rounds didn't penetrate through the binder or folder.  
The bullet was still inside.  

“There is the round after it has been shot, it's actually hot,” said Buckley.

But, the rifle round penetrated through both panels.

“You can see right through and that's why they didn't jump that time because they didn't just absorb anything and ripped right through them,” Buckley said.

The binder stayed still because the bullet went right through it.

According to the company's website and waiver they give you when you purchase the product. It says, "Please know that: rifle rounds, unusual high velocity pistol ammunition, can defeat ballistic panels."

“They performed as expected. No surprises that it stopped a 9mm, that it stopped the 45 and that it didn't stop the 223-rifle round,” Buckley said.  

Some parents said they wouldn’t buy the products.

They aren't cheap.

Backpacks can run between $200 to $330 dollars.

The panels and three-ring inserts run from $100 to almost $200 dollars.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.