Utah manufacturer Amendment II has been creating and distributing bulletproof gear of all kinds for quite a while, but since the Sandy Hook school shootings in Connecticut, they are getting a bit more attention- and a few more sales.
As it turns out, some of Amendment II's bulletproof products include gear for children, including backpacks and blankets. Rich Brand, COO, says that since the Sandy Hook shootings, sales of their kids' gear have increased 500%.
On December 20 in Salt Lake City, Brand and other company reps held a press conference and a demonstration of how some of their products, including the backpack with what they call a Rynohide CNT Shield, work. Brand used a .357 Magnum to shoot at a pink backpack, then showed both the bullets and the backpack.
Reaction to these products, and the company itself, has been mixed- and intense. Some parents feel that putting armor on each morning is just simply too much for kids to handle, while others think any possibility of protection is worth it- just in case. Still others believe that Amendment II has taken fear and our so-called "gun culture" way too far.
"They're calling us murderous, hateful pieces of garbage," Director of Sales and Marketing Derek Williams said. "We're being painted as warmongers here."
According to Williams, Amendment II has received all kinds of concerned and even hateful phone calls and emails. Such correspondence has come from as far as Italy.
"We do not want to sensationalize this any more than it already is," he adds. "The fact of the matter is, in today's world, this need exists and if we have the technology to protect people, why would we not allow them to purchase it?"
Amendment II has been in business, selling its merchandise to police and military, as well as citizens, for years. The backpack concept came into being just more than a year ago. The shield adds only 10 ounces to the backpack, which can be purchased at prices starting at $300. Other products, including a full-sized, pull-out blanket, are also available for children and schools.