SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Personal protection companies are seeing an increase in sales following a stretch of high-profile mass shootings.
Sales of body armor by Citizen Armor have spiked since the Las Vegas shooting, and company leaders anticipate another jolt of business following Tuesday’s shooting in Rancho Tehama that left five people dead.
“We’re selling peace of mind,” said Russell Steed.
He says people are motivated to find protection whenever there is a mass shooting that gains national attention.
“We do see spikes in sales when something like today happens,” said Steed, referencing the Northern California shooting.
According to Steed, sales of protective gear have increased in California, but it’s not your typical tactical vest. Steed explains they’re “shield inserts that you can slip into a briefcase, a purse, a backpack.”
Thinner items or shields for everyday use are gaining popularity.
“A mother that can get it for her kids; she’s not getting it because she’s afraid; she wants to have that peace of mind,” he said.
But there is still a lingering stigma around having body armor.
“It might be perceived by some as evidence of a mindset of wanting to engage with law enforcement,” said former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness.
In several high-profile shootings, the assailant used body armor. The Texas church shooter from earlier this month had a ballistic vest on when he shot and killed 26 people.
In Aurora, Colorado, James Holmes was covered from head to toe in protective wear when he killed a dozen people inside of a movie theater.
In North Hollywood, two bank robbers with high-powered weapons and body armor got in a gunfight with police in the middle of the street in 1997.
“That’s a problem law enforcement has recognized and trained for, but a problem nonetheless,” said McGuinness.
A potential dilemma is now a possible solution for personal protection during everyday life.
“I won’t say it’s a bad idea,” said McGinness, “but I don’t think it’s necessary personally.”
Body armor is legal to purchase for anyone who hasn’t committed a felony.