Sales of Bulletproof Backpacks, Kids' Body Armor by Utah Company Soar 500 Percent Following Connecticut Shootings

Sales for bulletproof backpacks and child-sized body armor manufactured by a Utah company have increased 500 percent since last week's shooting massacre at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary, company officials said.

Derek Williams, director of sales and marketing for Amendment II, said Wednesday that the Salt Lake City-based firm has seen "incredible demand" for its pint-sized products that feature lightweight armor called RynoHide.

"We've seen incredible demand, sales have gone up 500 percent for those particular products," Williams said. "It's just gone through the roof."

The backpacks, which retail for as little as $300, will stop a bullet fired from a .357 Magnum and feature an armor component that weighs just 10 ounces, Williams said. He declined to discuss specific sales figures.

"It's so lightweight, it only adds 10 ounces to their backpack," the father of six told "Would this armor have helped the kids in Connecticut? We don't know, but any armor is better than no armor."

Williams said Amendment II has been selling its products to police and military agencies for years now and began putting sheets of the material in children's backpacks a year ago.

He rejected any suggestion the company is seeking to cash in on last week's shooting in which a deranged man killed 20 children and six adults at the school using a Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle.

"We do not want to sensationalize this any more than it already is," he said. "The fact of the matter is, in today's world, this need exists and if we have the technology to protect people, why would we not allow them to purchase it?"

The company has received "quite disturbing" phone calls recently, Williams said, including correspondence from Italy.

"They're calling us murderous, hateful pieces of garbage," he said. "We're being painted as warmongers here."

Parents, meanwhile, had mixed reactions to the concept of bulletproof backpacks, with some believing they would instill even more fear into young students.

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