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Bulletproof backpacks readily available on First Coast in time for school year

The backpacks were found for sale for $119.00 at Office Max in Jacksonville.

UPDATE | RELATED STORY: Democrat Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, sparks backlash after retweeting this First Coast News' story on bulletproof backpacks

One may call it a sign of the times, as bulletproof backpacks are now on sale at stores on the First Coast.

Since the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook, the backpacks have become a demand for parents during back to school shopping.

The backpacks were found for sale for $119.00 at Office Max in Jacksonville.

"That's very interesting that you can just go into a store now and buy, it's not like it's a special order or anything," Amber Williams said. 

Williams is a mother of three and is considering buying a bulletproof backpack for her middle school child. 

Yasir Serich is the president of Guard Dog Security, an Orlando based company and one of several others that make bulletproof backpacks.
He said he started selling them after the Sandy Hook school shooting. 

"We are prepared for back to school season," Serich said. "We are prepared for anything that might entail a spike in sale for the line of bulletproof backpacks." 

On the surface, they look like your typical book bag, but each one contains a layer of material similar to Kevlar, designed to stop different types of bullets.

"We are not sitting here saying that if you buy a bulletproof backpack it's going to solve everything, we're saying this will put you in a better position in the event of an active shooter than someone who doesn't have a bulletproof backpack," he said. 

Parents are divided when it comes to having them in schools.

It's very scary that you would have to have bulletproof backpacks," Williams said.

But some are concerned it could protect someone wanting to cause harm.

"I don't think they should be allowed in schools because it's a way to enable a criminal to do more activity," John Norris said.

First Coast News reached out to Duval County School for comment on if bulletproof backpacks will be allowed this school year.

District Spokeswoman Laureen Ricks confirmed that there is no district-wide book bag policy, so it's up to each individual school to decide what's allowed when it comes to backpacks.  

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