A new company from Minnesota that’s appropriately enough called Ideal Conceal has created quite a bit of controversy after touting the creation of a handgun designed to look like a smartphone.
“Smartphones are everywhere,” the company’s website reads, “so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment. In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight.
Set for release sometime in mid-2016, the pistol is a double-barreled .380 caliber firearm sporting a one-piece frame construction. The company plans to sell it for $395 and its developer, one Kirk Kjellberg, claims that they’ve already received upwards of 2,500 emails from interested buyers.
As for the impetus behind the firearm’s creation, Kjellberg recently told CNN how he happened across the idea.
Kjellberg has a concealed carry permit and said he got the idea when he was walking through a restaurant and a young boy saw his pistol.
“This little kid says, ‘Mommy, Mommy, that man’s got a gun,’ so the whole restaurant looks at you like you’re about to shoot the place up,” Kjellberg said. “So I thought to myself there’s got to be another way to be able to carry without bothering other people.”
Notably, the gun in question – which can hold two bullets – cannot accidentally be fired when its in its smartphone camouflage.
The product description reads in part:
The ground breaking Ideal Conceal is a carefully engineered double-barreled .380 caliber people can safely carry in their purse or clipped to their side. Ingeniously designed to resemble a smartphone, yet with one click of the safety it opens and is ready to fire.
The product was designed with safety as a priority. A brand everyone can trust, a piece they can rely on, over and over.
Nonetheless, the idea of people walking around with firearms disguised as smartphones has law enforcement officials worried.
Addressing the issue head on, Bill Johnson of the National Association of Police Organizations said the following: “In general, the concept of any kind of weapon that’s disguised, so that it’s not apparent that it’s a weapon, would be cause for concern.”
Similarly, Andrew Patrick, Deputy Communications Director at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, issued the following statement to the DailyMail: “What’s disturbing is that this looks like a real smartphone. There are countless stories of children playing with toy guns who were shot, because it was mistaken for the real thing.”