Are Bulletproof Backpacks Legal? FInd the answers to all your Bulletproof Backpack questions with ShotStop®

Are Bulletproof Backpacks Legal?  FInd the answers to all your Bulletproof Backpack questions with ShotStop®

With the advancements in ballistic technology, there are dozens of companies that are able to offer ballistic inserts that fit in backpacks.

With all the different brands, models, and threat levels out there, I would love to answer some of the most popular questions and concerns.  

ShotStop ballistics made in the U.S.A.

What Is A Ballistic/Bulletproof Backpack?

There are many different models available online, but as far as ShotStop® is concerned, a ballistic backpack is made when a ballistic plate is inserted into the backpack. Ballistic inserts can be either soft armor or rigid armor. 

The majority of backpack inserts are rated to the NIJ Level 3A standard (soft armor), but we have a new Level 3 hard insert that will stop a 5.56x45mm (M193), a 7.62x39mm, and even a 7.62x51mm NATO (M80) bullet. 

ShotStop ballistics

Is Any Armor Truly Bulletproof?

Whether you want to call it a ballistic insert or bulletproof insert is up to you, but here at  ShotStop® we prefer ballistic insert. I know it may sound extraneous, but even Level 4 body armor isn’t bulletproof. 

One thing we learned while testing earlier prototypes of our Duritium® technology is that there is always a bullet out there that can defeat armor. With that being said, our Duritium® BallisticBoard® Backpack Insert is as close to bulletproof as you’ll find for civilian use. 

Are Bulletproof Backpacks Legal?

Yes! There is no federal law stating that ballistic backpack inserts are illegal to own as an American citizen.

The only caveat to that is convicted felons may not have body armor. For as many things as we take for granted as Americans, personal protection is a right to all law-abiding citizens. 

Do Bullet Resistant Backpacks Work?

It really depends on the manufacturer of the ballistic material used to create the backpack armor.

I can only speak on how ShotStop® operates, but we’d sell no ballistic inserts if independent NIJ- Accredited laboratories did not test them and didn’t exceed all national standards.  

In short, ShotStop® ballistic inserts work better than anything you’ll find on the planet today. 

BallisticBoard - Rifle Rated Backpack Insert

Why Are Ballistic Backpack Inserts Not NIJ-Listed?

For transparency and integrity, we don’t want to mislead anyone and say that our ballistic inserts are NIJ-Listed. However, the reason it’s not NIJ-Listed is because the old 0101.06 standards do not cover backpack inserts. 

Fortunately, the new standard that should be out any day now (0101.07) will allow us to test the backpack inserts and receive the NIJ-Listed stamp of approval. We’ll update everyone once the new standards go into effect. 

How Do I Ensure I’m Buying a Legit Ballistic backpack Insert?

Our recommendation is to look for an accredited independent laboratory test report for the product you wish you to buy. Always conduct your own research and look for product reviews online and ballistic testing videos of the product you wish to buy.  

The manufacturer should be proud to show you their official and formally tested results.  ShotStop Ballistics shares all reports with their customers and we feel all armor producers should, too.

If you’re wanting to know about legitimacy of Ballistic Inserts, read our Bulletproof Backpacks | Guide to ShotStop® Armor

Can a Bulletproof Backpack Stop an AK 47 or AR-15?

The important thing to consider with armor stopping a specific rifle is that not all ammo fired from a rifle can be stopped. 

When we discuss an AK-47, the most common round fired from an AK-47 is a 7.62x39mm bullet. All of our Level 3 plates and our Level 3 backpack insert will stop this specific bullet. 

The most common round fired from an AR-15 is a 5.56x45mm (M193) bullet, but an AR can be chambered in everything, including a .300 Blackout, 7.62x39mm, the 5.56x45mm M855 & M855A1.

ShotStop Ballistics Logo

The M855(A1) bullets will cut through NIJ-Listed Level 3 armor like a knife through butter.

Pay close attention to what they rated your insert for and know your threat levels before you trust your life with an armor insert that won’t stop rifle-caliber bullets.

Do We Make Body Armor for Kids?

For our children, there is nothing we wouldn’t do to protect them from harm. As we created our Duritium® BallisticBoard® Backpack Inserts, our first goal was to combat gun violence in public settings, such as schools, universities, and commercial buildings.

Our Duritium® BallisticBoard® Backpack Inserts come in 2 sizes for all BallisticBoard® inserts (10”x 12”, 11”x 14”). Regardless of the size of your child's backpack, one of our sizes will easily fit inside their backpack to provide unparalleled protection from bullets. 

The only decision left to make threat protection do you want for your family? Do you want to ensure protection against handguns, rifles, or both? To help make that decision, I’ve included the backpack inserts I would use for my children. 

BallisticBoard® IIIA

Our first BallisticBoard® backpack insert is rated to the NIJ-Listed Level 3A standard, which protects against handguns. The impressive features for this backpack insert is the thickness of the plate (0.26”) and the weight (1.2 lbs)

Our BallisticBoard® IIIA insert is a multi-hit plate has been tested against a dozen 9mm bullets from penetration on a single insert. Any handgun up to a .44 Magnum has no chance against our BallisticBoard® IIIA insert. 

Shot Stop Level 3A Armor Review & Testing

What Can I Place the BallisticBoard® IIIA Insert In?

  • Backpack
  • Purse
  • Luggage
  • Computer Bag
  • Gym bag
  • Any other bag that is 12” of space inside

BallisticBoard® III RA

BallisticBoard® III RA is our rifle-rated backpack insert that will stop any handgun, 5.56x45mm 55 grain ball (M193), 7.62x39mm, 7.62x51mm 149 grain M80 FMJ. 

The biggest differences between the IIIA insert and the III RA insert is the thickness, weight, and level of protection. The BallisticBoard® III RA is 0.7” thick and weighs 3.75 lbs for the 10” x 12” plate and 4.75 lbs for the 11” x 14” plate.

Which BallisticBoard® Backpack Insert Should I Choose?

Anytime I make a decision as important as the protection of my family, I try my best to learn the national, local, and state statistics to make a more informed decision. 

For example, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a student is most likely to encounter a school shooting in one of 4 places; The parking lot (21%), Classroom (10%), Beside Building (10%), or the Hallway (9%). 

Furthermore, Wherever you're in the country you can use the DHS interactive map to look at your local area and state. You can find the most common weapons used, time of day shooting take place, why most happen, and many other relative stats. 

ISO 9001:2015

Why Choose ShotStop® Ballistic Backpack Inserts?

I will give you 3 reasons to choose ShotStop® over any of our competitors. First, our warranty applies to all products we sell. This means that our BallisticBoard® III RA and BallisticBoard® IIIA backpack inserts come with a 5 year warranty!

Second, our Duritium® armor is tested by NIJ-accredited labs and every single test we have done exceeds national standards. Don’t take our word for it, we’d be glad to send any customer a copy of our independent lab results. 

ShotStop Ballistic Insert

Third, we are now certified through Smither’s to ISO 9001:2015 standards. This international standard shows that we are in compliance with all best practices in manufacturing, customer satisfaction, and employee safety.

For example, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a student is most likely to encounter a school shooting in one of 4 places; The parking lot (21%), Classroom (10%), Beside Building (10%), or the Hallway (9%). 

Our Duritium® body armor plates are the lightest, thinnest, and most comfortable plates you'll ever wear. We also understand that our armor is an expensive initial cost compared to our competitors.

Even though our 10 (Level 4) and 15-year (Level 3+) warranties make our armor cheaper over time, spending more than $500 on a set of plates is a lot at one time.

Showing our customers that they can trust our name means everything to us as a team. This is why we show proof of our receipts on each product page in the form of NIJ Compliance letters and independent ballistic lab tests results. 


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1 comment


  • I will give you four reasons why I am considering purchasing bulletproof body armor. They are my four, precious grandsons in preschool, first grade, third grade and sixth grade.

    Carol Fisher Donahue on

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