Can ballistic blankets protect kids from shooters, disasters?
Ballistic blanket promises protection against 90 percent of weapons used in U.S. school shootings
By Loraine Burger
Oklahoma-based ProTecht unveiled the Bodyguard blanket, a bullet-resistant body cover made to protect adults and children against bullets and projectiles from life-threatening weather events, such as tornado debris.
The Bodyguard blanket is made of two Level llla, National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standard ballistic materials, Dyneema and an absorbent impact gel that provides protection against 90 percent of all weapons that have been used in U.S. school shootings.
“The gel we use is the highest energy absorbent material I’ve been able to find,” said Stan Schone, the company’s co-founder and inventor. “And I’ve been looking for 10 years.”
The two materials combine to make a 5/16-inch thick dense plastic pad that not only prevents bullets or debris from penetrating, but actually catches and deforms the bullet or object, according to the company.
The company claims the blanket can absorb approximately 490 - 660 joules of energy or 361-486 foot pound force and allows a high degree of energy absorption to prevent injury. After testing the blanket at a shooting range, Schone said the Bodyguard blanket provided protection against bullets from a 12-gauge buckshot, a .22-caliber and a 9 mm, among others.
Schone says that the blankets are popular for several reasons. First, safe rooms often are in hallways, which happens to be where most active shooters are, making them pointless in such scenarios. Second, safe rooms would cost drastically more money per child than the ballistic blanket.
“These have sold beyond our wildest imagination,” said Schone. “People want to protect their kids. Something needs to be done and nobody else is doing anything about it.”
The blanket is available in small, medium and large sizes to cover small children up to large adults and is equipped with straps on the underside so it can be worn like a backpack. They cost between $1,000 and $1,595, depending on size, the company said.