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Press Release

Justice Department Statement on Claims of NIJ Certification of Ballistic Backpacks

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

In recent days, multiple media outlets have repeated misleading statements made by companies about "NIJ certification" of their ballistic backpack products.

United States Justice Department spokesperson Devin O'Malley issued the following statement regarding claims of NIJ Certification of Ballistic Backpacks.  "The National Institute of Justice—the research, development, and evaluation agency of the Department of Justice—has never tested nor certified ballistic items, such as backpacks, blankets, or briefcases, other than body armor for law enforcement. Marketing that claims NIJ testing or certification for such products is false."

The only ballistic-resistant product that NIJ certifies is law enforcement body armor that meet the requirements of NIJ’s Compliance Testing Program (CTP), which are then listed on NIJ’s Compliant Products List.  Testing body armor involves a technically rigorous test campaign that must be carried out by one of four laboratories that are accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program and approved by NIJ to participate in the CTP.  The protocols and procedures are described in the current NIJ performance standard NIJ Standard 0101.06, Ballistic Resistance of Body Armor. 

Updated March 1, 2018