TUCSON, Ariz. (CNN) — Don’t be surprised if you see the word “bulletproof” next to school supplies this year.
Many of the big national chains are stocking equipment designed to protect kids from gunfire, right in the school supply aisle.
“As a parent, it’s scary. It’s very scary,” said Andrea Leyvas as she shopped at Office Max, which now sells Guard Dog Security brand bulletproof backpacks.
Leyvas told KGUN she was saddened after seeing them in the store, but thinks they’re necessary.
“There are so many crazy things going on in the world, and a lot of it is sadly aimed at the kids. You know, people are angry, and what’s the easiest target to go after?” Leyvas said. “Your child’s life is priceless, so you do anything to protect it.”
The backpacks sell for anywhere between $100 and $200 and they’re growing in popularity.
“The backpacks are lighter than you might think, and they really look and feel like an ordinary backpack. The label says it offers level 3A protection. That’s enough to stop a bullet from a 44 magnum handgun,” said KGUN reporter Natalie Tarangioli.
Yasir Sheikh of Guard Dog Security says he wants parents and students to be prepared and not scared.
“I personally think whether it’s with our bulletproof backpacks or not, it’s about starting that conversation of school safety, about possibly active shooter situations.”
KGUN 9 also found bullet-resistant and ballistic backpacks at Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s and K-Mart.