Bulletproof Products Vary by Grade Levels of Protection

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SAN BENITO – There are various grades of protection customers should know before purchasing a bulletproof item.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reported about a McAllen business seeing a rise in interest for their bulletproof merchandise.

In order for you to figure out how much protection you’re willing to invest in, it’s critical to know the level of safety before purchasing a product.

The items sold by Mara Serna and Ricardo Delgado look like normal pieces of clothing you’d find in your closet. Aside from fashion, it’s intended to save your life.

“A lot of people ask about our merchandise. ‘What does it cover?’ Well, it covers your vitals. There's a band that protects you on the sides,” said Serna.

The McAllen business is thriving. They sell bulletproof gear. Serval items have already sold out since their grand opening earlier this month.

San Benito Police Chief Michael Galvan wants those in the market for bulletproof gear to keep in mind, protection comes with added weight.

“These are a lot heavier and these will also stop rifle rounds and take several impacts from a rifle round, but they're extremely heavy. This could slow you down and this could cause you to stay closer to the threat, instead of getting away,” Galvan explained while exhibiting one of the bulletproof vests the police department uses.

Those vests are Level 4 ballistic vests. It protects against multiple rifle rounds. Law enforcement uses it in active shooter scenarios.

“This one has Kevlar, but it’s also got ceramic plating, it's all cooked together, so it has all those layers of Kevlar plus the ceramic so when you hear it, you can actually hear it. Sounds like a brick,” Galvan said while knocking on a protective plate.

The McAllen business handles products with lighter protection – a Level 3. It protects against rifle rounds, but only a couple on each plate or side.

“It’s also woven very tight and there’s these different layers of that Kevlar stacked on top of each other so when it hits, when the bullet hits it'll mushroom and stay there. But at the same time you will get heavy bruising,” said the police chief.

Galvan recommends finding an item that blends in, such as the concept behind the business’ Level 3 grade.

“Only you know it’s bulletproof. Nobody else should know. Once you close it, it looks like a clothing item,” said Delgado.

Galvan suggests, “You don’t want to give them the heads up of where you have protection because then they'll avoid that and shoot at other places of your body.”

Most importantly do your research before investing in an item meant to save your life.

Galvan tells us that any bulletproof gear that takes a hit is immediately decommissioned. That’s something people need to keep in mind too with their bulletproof gear.


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