SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS News 8) — In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting a Southern California company is offering a new product that can help protect you from an active shooter.
It’s a lightweight backpack that transforms into a bulletproof vest. Just grab the red-tabbed zipper and it only takes a matter of seconds to don the vest. The Tactical One backpack is made by Leatherback Gear out of Orange County. It is designed for first responder use and sells for about $400.
“We look at this as an added protection and insurance for people who want to have more piece of mind in a world that’s seen more variables than we’ve seen before,” said Bjorn Jonsson, the director of international development for Leatherback Gear.
The backpack’s core protection includes flexible, lightweight armor inserted into both the front and back of the pack. It’s rated to withstand up to a 44 magnum caliber handgun bullet. The flexible armor is not rated to protect against high velocity rifle bullets – like those used in the Las Vegas attack — but hard armor can be added at additional cost.
If you’re carrying books or a laptop inside the backpack, that adds even more protection. The handle is strong enough to drag a 300 pound person wearing the backpack. And there are lots of other features, like a hidden pouch with RFID shielding for privacy protection. The straps can be removed and used as tourniquets.
“There’s so many other scenarios that have nothing to do with a shooting where a tourniquet can come into play and be a lifesaving device,” said Jonsson.
The backpack is fairly lightweight and functional for everyday use.
“At the end of the day, you know what it’s going to be used for most of the time? A backpack,” said Jonsson.
The company is also developing a less expensive model meant for civilian use.