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Bulletproof blanket's ad boast barred

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Monday, June 16, 2014, 11:06 p.m.
 

The Department of Justice told Oklahoma-based ProTecht, maker of the Bodyguard Blanket, a bulletproof pad schoolchildren can wear like a backpack that retails for $1,000 to $1,200, to stop claiming that the product went through a ballistic projectile test from the National Institute of Justice.

“It may be that the company had these blankets tested by a third-party company and it meets similar standards, but the NIJ doesn't test on its own,” said Chuck Wagner, the department's deputy director of public affairs. “The NIJ only certifies the results of ballistic tests, and these blankets never went through that process.”

Co-creator Jay Hanan tested the blankets in his lab at Oklahoma State University, said his business partner, Stan Schone of Edmond, Okla.

“Jay ran exactly the same test the NIJ certifies, but no, it's not their test,” he said.

Schone said last week the quarter-inch thick-blankets hold up against 9 mm and .22-caliber bullets in tests designed for law enforcement armor. ProTecht's website cites the National Institute of Justice Class 3A test, which indicates protection from most handgun threats.

Schone, a longtime inventor, said the blankets contain Dyneema, a high-density plastic lighter than Kevlar and stronger than steel.

The Justice Department's general counsel contacted ProTecht this week, Wagner said, to clarify the company's claims.

“It would be like a food company who says they're organic, versus one who is certified organic,” Wagner said. “You can't compare a blanket to body armor, and potential buyers need to know the difference.”

Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

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