TUCSON, Ariz. — Don't be surprised if you see the word "bulletproof" next to school supplies this year.
Just in time for back to school, bullet-resistant backpacks are now available in Tucson-area stores. And it's making some parents a little uneasy.
"As a parent, it's scary," Andrea Leyvas said. She was shopping for school supplies at the Office Max on Broadway and Craycroft.
Leyvas says she was sad to see the backpacks in the store, but she does think they are a necessity now.
"There's so many crazy things going on in the world," she said. "A lot of it is sadly aimed at the kids. People are angry, and what's the easiest target to go after?"
The bulletproof backpacks come with a hefty price tag. They're being sold for anywhere between $100 and $300.
"Your child's life is priceless," Leyvas said. "So you do anything to protect them."
The backpacks are lighter than you might expect, and they look and feel like an ordinary backpack. According to the label, the bag offers Level IIIA protection, which means it will stop a bullet from a .44 magnum handgun.
Office Max now sells “bullet-resistant” backpacks at some of its stores here in Tucson.— Natalie Tarangioli (@ntarangioli) July 31, 2019
Do you think these are a good idea? What do you think about them? pic.twitter.com/8or2Hz8ADY
Bulletproof backpacks are growing in popularity. Guard Dog Security's founder, Yasir Sheikh, says sales spike this time of year when kids get ready to head back to school, or after a school shooting.
But he says with the backpacks, he wants parents and students to be prepared, not scared.
"I personally think whether it's with our bulletproof backpacks, or not, it's about starting that conversation of school safety, about possible active shooter situations," Sheikh said.
KGUN9 also found ballistic backpacks now being sold at Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy's, and Kmart.