Since the Florida school shooting, a Massachusetts company that makes bulletproof backpacks has sold hundreds of products.
Bullet Blocker, is based out of eastern Massachusetts, and they sold around 500 backpacks on Thursday alone.
Many of the people who purchased those backpacks live in Florida but parents in the Commonwealth are talking about it too. Chicopee mother of two, Mariangelis Reyes, echoes the sentiment many parents feel in the days after a school shooting. “I actually was considering taking him out and keeping him home but I know it’s not good," said Reyes. In five of the deadliest mass shootings in the last six years in the United States, including in Parkland, Florida the gunman used an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle.
The National Rifle Association deems the AR-15 the most popular rifle in America.
As politicians and public figures push for gun control, one Massachusetts company is taking the reins. “My two children, that’s why I did start the company," said Bullet Blocker Owner, Joe Curran. After witnessing the horror of the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre, Joe Curran wanted to do all he could to protect his two school-aged children.
That's when he came up with the idea for Bullet Blocker, a company based out of Lowell that sells bulletproof backpacks.
“It looks just like a regular backpack. You can’t tell from the outside," Curran noted. The backpacks cost anywhere from $100 to $400.
Curran also sells inserts that you can place inside any backpack and those range from $100 to $250.
He noted these products would not protect anyone from an AR-15, but since this week’s school shooting, he’s seen a 30 percent increase in sales. “Having that protection level anyways is important," Curran added. Western Mass News asked local parents what they think.
“I think that’s a little too much. I think every state should have gun restrictions and checks like Massachusetts does," said Chicopee resident Mary Eaton. Massachusetts has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. “I think they’re a great idea. I think kids would really benefit from them in case if another school shooting happens or worst comes to worse, something in the street happens, they’re protected regardless," said Reyes. While the backpacks wouldn’t protect you from an AR-15, Curran sells heavier products that would, but he said it’s not realistic for a child to bring them to school and he mainly sells these to police officers and military members.
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