Looks can be deceiving — and deadly.
And soon, for fewer than $400, gun enthusiasts could carry a gun that looks like a regular cellphone, with a spring-loaded safety.
A Minnesota gun manufacturer is taking orders for a double-barreled, .380 caliber handgun shaped like a cellphone, with a handle that flips into the rectangle shape of most smartphones. The firearm even includes a belt clip similar to attachments seen on phones.
Ideal Conceal hopes to have its product in customers’ hands by mid-2016, according to its website, but one senator is fighting to stop it.
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) wants the cellphone look-alikes banned and he wrote a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, asking them to investigate, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.
The gun manufacturer’s website says, “Smartphones are EVERYWHERE, 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.”
But that’s exactly the problem, Casey said.
“When the gun that’s produced looks exactly like a smartphone, you’ve got a problem,” Casey said. “No company should make any money designing a product that is this misleading and dangerous.”
A woman was arrested in 2010, trying to bring both a .380-caliber handgun and a stun gun disguised as a cellphone into the Fulton County Courthouse. Ecreia Laki Perez was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a weapon to a public gathering. Her bond for each charge was $3,000, according to jail records.
In the marketing video, company founder Kirk Kjellberg says law enforcement should not have a problem with it as long as users have a legal concealed carry permit and act responsibly, letting officers know about the pistol while keeping your hands in plain view.
“If you’re in an interaction with police officers don’t reach for things,” Kjellberg explained. “Make sure they know where your hands are.”
When an ATF spokesman was asked if they have a response to the Sen. Casey letter, the agency responded by saying there may not be much they can do about it because the firearm is not currently in production and the ATF has not seen a prototype.
ATF spokesman Corey Ray said domestic manufacturers are not required to submit firearms to the Firearms Technology and Ammunition Division.
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