March 31, 2016 – This is not a smartphone. This is a gun.
It’s the Ideal Conceal, a .380-caliber pistol that folds up into a box shape. The creator designed the firearm to look like a phone so people could carry it around in public without attracting attention.
Ideal Conceal’s website explains the logic behind the $395 gun: “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.”
More after this ad….
The website also advises folks to check local concealed carry laws before purchasing the firearm.
Kirk Kjellberg, CEO of Minnesota-based company Ideal Conceal, told a local news outlet that he came up with the concept for the pistol after a boy in a restaurant noticed he was carrying a concealed gun. Kjellberg has a concealed carry permit and a firearm license, he told The Huffington Post, but he added that it’s still “pretty embarrassing when people stare at you.”
“A little child, a boy about 7, saw me, and said, ‘Mommy, Mommy, that guy’s got a gun!’ And the whole restaurant of course turns and stares at you. And I thought, there’s just got be something better,” said Kjellberg, per NBC affiliate KARE in Minneapolis.
Critics of the gun have pointed out that it could pose a security risk in public places like airports, according to KARE. But Kjellberg insists the gun is meant for people concerned about their own personal safety.
“We don’t want anything sinister to go on with it,” Kjellberg told KARE. “It’s just made for mainstream America, not criminal enterprise.”
He told HuffPost that the gun, which holds two rounds, isn’t very powerful. “If you’re going to try to hurt somebody, it will probably take more firepower,” Kjellberg said.
There were 13,286 gun deaths in U.S. in 2015. Between 2007 and 2013, people carrying concealed weapons were responsible for nearly 500 civilian deaths, according to the Violence Policy Institute.
In recent years, police have shot and killed several people carrying items mistaken for guns. In January, police in Las Vegas shot and killed an unarmed man carrying a cell phone that looked to police like a firearm.