Bullet-proof chair could save your life

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email

BRYAN, Texas Two Bryan companies have teamed up to create a chair with a bullet-proof design that could end up saving lives.

Neutral Posture and BMI Defense Systems are the creators.

Neutral Posture CEO, Rebecca Boenigk said she fell in love with the chair business about 25 years ago.

"My father invented our original chair as his dissertation project," said Boenigk. "Then my mom and I started building chairs in our garage. It just grew from there."

Her latest project was the brain child of Texas A&M professor, Dr. Mark Benden.

"He just had one of those three o'clock in the morning ideas about how to combine our two products," said Boenigk.

The idea was to integrate an ordinary office chair with a bullet-proof vest. The vest is neatly hidden in plain site until needed.

"You have a vest that you can hide behind a chair if anything happens. Or, if there's a shooter situation, you can put the vest on and escape the building," said Boenigk.

The vest attaches around the back of the chair with velcro straps. In the event of an emergency, the user can pull the velcro apart and slip the vest on. Boenigk said the beauty of the product is its hidden design.

"The only people that are going to know that it's in your chair are the people that are sitting in the chair and are trained to use it and understand what the product really means," Boenigk said.

Boenigk said they originally intended to sell the vest to government agencies.

"But the more that we got into the product line, we figured there were a lot of people who could be in the situation of a shooter," said Boenigk.

Teachers, bankers and lawyers are good examples, Boenigk said.

"One of the largest casinos in the world is very interested in putting their security people in this product," said Boenigk. "They don't want them to wear a vest all day, because that's a little overwhelming to their clientele. But they want them to have access to one."

The vest sells to the public for around $1,800. Boenigk said the vest is National Institute of Justice (NIJ) compliant, and she's working with the NIJ to complete testing on the product.

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