SALT LAKE CITY - The reaction to the Connecticut school shooting can be seen in gun stores and self-defense retailers across the nation: Anxious parents are fueling sales of armored backpacks for children while others are stocking up on assault rifles in anticipation of tighter gun-control measures.
A spike in gun sales is common after a mass shooting, but the Connecticut tragedy has generated record sales in many states. Colorado set a single-day record for background-check requests the day after the shootings, and some online retailers are removing assault rifles from websites in part because of diminishing supplies.
Nevada saw more requests for background checks in the days after the shooting than any other weekend this year. Some gun-shop owners are holding back on sales, anticipating only more interest and value after President Obama on Wednesday tasked his administration with creating concrete proposals to reduce gun violence.
At least three companies that make armored backpacks designed to shield children caught in a shooting also are reporting a spike in sales and interest.
The body-armor inserts fit into the back panel of a child's backpack and sell for about $150 to $300, depending on the company.
The armor is designed to stop bullets from handguns, not assault rifles like the one used by the Connecticut shooter. The manufacturers and some parents say that while they don't guarantee children won't be killed, they could still be used as shields.
Ken Larson, 41, of Denver, already had an armored backpack for himself and convinced his wife to buy one for their 1-year-old after the Connecticut shooting.
"It's a no-brainer. My son's life is invaluable," he said. "If I can get him a backpack for $200 that makes him safer, I don't even have to think about that."
Though Larson knows the backpack won't guarantee his son's safety when he starts school, he says it's a worthy precaution.