Lawmaker looks to ban smartphone gun before it hits market

  • George Colli and Patrick Terpstra
  • Cox Media Group Washington News Bureau
April 22, 2016

It looks like your average smartphone but, it’s actually a gun.

Minnesota gun manufacturer Ideal Conceal is offering a double barreled, high velocity .380 caliber two shot gun that’s disguised as a cell phone.

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The company says it will cost $395, and will hopefully be available by mid-summer.

It will never hit the marketplace if Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has his way.

The Pennsylvania Democrat wants them banned and wrote a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, asking them to investigate.

“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.”

Casey says everyone should be concerned by something that looks as common as a cell phone being a weapon. He adds that it puts pressure on police who need to make instant decisions.

“It's even more difficult when they're not sure whether someone is hiding a black iPhone or a black firearm that looks like an iPhone of the same color,” Casey said.

Ideal Conceal founder Kurt Kjellberg did not respond to repeated calls for comment.  But the company's website shows how the gun works.

"It is approximately the size of a Galaxy X7 with a protective case,” Kjellberg says into the camera before pressing the safety and revealing a trigger and drop down handle. “You’ll be ready to defend yourself.”

In the marketing video, Kjellberg says law enforcement should not have a problem with it as long as users are responsible and respectful towards police if ever approached.

“If you're in interaction with police officers don't reach for things,” Kjellberg explained. “Let them 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.

“As this firearm is not currently in production, ATF cannot conduct an evaluation of this firearm,” said spokesman Corey Ray. “Domestic manufacturers are not required to submit firearms to our Firearms Technology and Ammunition Division.”

Ray added that the bureau hasn’t seen a prototype of the gun.

The gun manufacturer says on its website that the product is expected to go on sale in mid-summer.