AUSTIN (NEXSTAR) — In less than two months, concealed handgun license holders will be able to carry guns on public college campuses in Texas.
The new “campus carry” law has stirred up a lot of controversy since it was passed by lawmakers. However, a few companies in Texas are finding creative ways to profit from the new law.
“It really is revolutionary,” Doug Monahan said showing off his latest creation.
Monahan is the CEO and Founder of iBackPack, an Austin based company that designs an “all-inclusive” bag for “everyday life”. The iBackPack is equipped with a wifi hot spot, several charging devices, Bluetooth, a built-in poncho, and just about any other gadget a college student could dream of.
But what makes the iBackPack different from other bags is that it can also withstand a bullet shot from almost any type of gun.
“People need some protection, something at least,” Monahan said. “And I thought well I could take for a little bit more fabric I can add a pocket into the backpack and just stick Kevlar in it or something.”
Monahan incorporated a IIA Kevlar sleeve, the same material most bullet proof vests are made from, into the high-tech backpack. Monahan said he came up with the idea after the fatal San Bernardino shooting in California last December. The only criteria for the Austin-based businessman was that the new feature be added before the new campus carry law takes effect across Texas in August.
“People are afraid,” Monahan said. “And campus carry is going to make people afraid. Anytime that you’ve got a situation when more and more people are carrying guns, is a situation where I want to be protected.”
Spenser Stephens was the first customer to purchase the iBackPack when it debuted last year. Stephens said his favorite part about the bag is the multiple charging outlets, but he is glad that the bag now also comes with a shield.
“With all the mass shootings I just think it is a great thing to send off with your kids to college,” Stephens said. “It’s better to have them protected than unprotected and have something happen to them.”
Other companies, like “Vertex”, have released a line of backpacks with gun holsters. These backpacks are designed for students and faculty who choose to carry a firearm on campus this fall.
“We’re picking up vertex and a few other lines to accommodate campus carry,” J.D. Clay at Sharp Shooters Gun and Knife said. “We did this when Texas Tech and a few other places across the country were starting to get real serious about allowing it on their universities.”
The campus carry law takes effect on August 1st this year. Under the new law, licensed holders will be able to carry concealed handguns inside classrooms on public college campuses in Texas.