CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Sales of bulletproof backpacks sold in Charlotte and across the country are up "significantly," according to one company that makes them.
"Security is on the minds of parents, quite frankly today, when they're thinking about back to school," said Yasir Sheikh, the president of Skyline USA, which makes Guard Dog Security bulletproof backpacks. In Charlotte, FOX 46 found several Office Depot's that are selling Guard Dog backpacks next to the "Back to School" section.
In several stores, only a few remain.
"We have seen an increase in sales," said Sheikh, who says they do not track sale numbers by region. "It's been going on over the past couple weeks. A lot can be attributed to back to school. We naturally see a spike in sales during back to school. But we also could be seeing a heightened level of demand because of what's going on in the news in terms of the recent shootings" in Texas and Ohio.
Last year, FOX 46 put bulletproof backpacks to the test twice. We found the backpack sold by Guard Dog Security worked as advertised. It stopped a bullet from a .9 mm handgun fired from as close as nine feet away. It did not stop a round from an AR-15, which is the type of rifle that has been used in multiple mass shootings.
Sheikh calls his product a "proactive" measure for parents.
"I feel kids shouldn't have to be fearful of getting shot," said Claudia Sandoval, whose daughters survived the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 that killed 20 children and six adults.
Sandoval is now a member of Moms Demand Action, an organization that is dedicated to gun violence prevention.
"I don't think parents are just going to solely look at a backpack and have all of their fears alleviated," she said. "This is why I focus on gun violence prevention."
Sandoval, who now lives in Charlotte, says while bulletproof backpacks might stop a bullet they can't stop a mass shooting from happening. That's why she is pushing for North Carolina to implement a "red flag" law, which Pres. Trump supports and which other states, like Florida, have already done. The law, also known as an "extreme risk protection order" allows for court intervention to prevent someone in crisis, deemed a risk to themselves or society, from temporarily being allowed to buy or possess a firearm.
"Prevention is really how we get to solving this problem, this crisis," said Sandoval. "I think it's a public health crisis that needs to be addressed."