Louisiana lawmakers are trying to find another way to protect schoolchildren in the event of any active shooter threats on campus. The Legislature earlier this month voted to allow students to wear bulletproof backpacks on campus and at school-sanctioned activities.
The bill is written as an exemption to state law that bans the wearing of body armor by students. Bulletproof backpacks can be sold either as a complete backpack or as an insert that can fit into an existing backpack.
One of a dozen gun bills filed this year, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is expected to sign the measure. Proponents intend it as a way to give students an added measure of protection should there ever be a school shooting.
The bill earned overwhelming support in both houses, with an 82-6 vote in the House and a 25-1 tally in the Senate.
The measure is not intended to serve as fool-proof protection, and Sen. J.P. Morrell—the one nay voter in the Senate—said he voted against it because he didn’t want to convey a false message to parents in that regard.
Manufacturers tout the product, of course, saying that they conform to level 3A of National Institute of Justice standards, which means they can stand up to bullets from handguns. And Fox8, a New Orleans Fox affiliate, put some of the hardened backpacks to the test against handguns and some rifles. The news teams findings are available here.