Florida shooting sees bulletproof backpack sales rise

One of the worst mass shootings in US history has sparked an increase in sales of bulletproof schoolbags.

Nikolas Cruz is accused of gunning down 17 children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Bulletproof backpacks are widely sold on the internet, and can be bought from companies such as Amazon and Etsy, as well as independent providers.

And while they've been on the market for years, one company called Bullet Blocker has reportedly sold 500 of the bags since the massacre - an increase of 30 percent.

Despite also being a retailer of designer goods, it was the company's most-sold item that day.

The attack is the eighth deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

As parents struggle to protect their children, companies are targeting military-grade accessories towards children in an effort to keep them safe.

Backpacks aren't the only tool companies are using to capitalising on parents' fear of losing their children in a massacre. Bulletproof whiteboards and clipboards are also being marketed towards schools, as well as tougher measures around the gates of the institutions.

In 2017, the market for security equipment in the education sector was estimated at US$2.68 billion, according to industry analysts at IHS Markit.

Horrific attack

Children inside the school barricaded themselves in classrooms as the suspected gunman opened fire with an AR-15 rifle.

Cruz, 19, set off the school's fire alarm to get all the students out and told police that when they began to flee he discarded his rifle and a vest so he could blend into the crowd.

He was held without bail during his first court appearance on Thursday (local time) and faces 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Less than 5 percent of the world's population lives in the United States, but the country owns between 35-50 percent of the world's civilian-owned guns.

It also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate out of all of the developed nations.

Cruz' attack is the eighth-deadliest in modern US history.

7 News / Newshub.