At least one company in the U.S. is combining technology and weaponry to design a handgun that looks exactly like a smartphone.
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Kirk Kjellberg, CEO of Ideal Conceal, the company that created the double barreled .380 caliber, said the idea came from an “embarrassing” situation he found himself in.
“I had gotten my concealed carry permit and was carrying my pistol with the requisite jacket over the top, and somehow or another it got caught on the pistol,” he told Stuart Varney. “A young boy saw me in the middle of a restaurant and shouted out very loudly and excitedly ‘Mommy, Mommy, that guy’s got a gun.’ The whole restaurant of course looked at me, so I was like there’s got to be some other way to do this, and that’s how it came about.”
The firearm currently retails at $395 and is available in 48 states, according to Kjellberg, who said the company won’t sell internationally until next year. Kjellberg said the smartphone-styled gun will be available to purchase on the Web.
“You will be able to buy it online if you follow all of the NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] checks and the other requirements that the ATF and the FBI have in place,” he explained. “You have to go and get a personal background check and do all the same things you would have to do if you had walked into a gun store.”
If being taken on an airliner, like any gun, the Ideal Conceal pistol will need to pass through airport security. With such a strong resemblance to today’s smartphones, the question is whether this will pose a problem for TSA employees.
“It’s just the same as anything else,” Kjellberg said. “Any other gun has metal components, has metal barrels, metal inner workings so it will not defeat metal detection. And actually we are working with the Department of Homeland Security to get them x-rays so they can properly train their folks on how to detect this should somebody put it in their luggage. But, obviously the intention is not to do anything sinister with this; it’s just an opportunity to carry a gun.”
Gun sales in 2015 spiked, in part due to the Obama Administration’s push for more gun control measures. According to data from the FBI, NICS firearm background checks climbed to over 23.1 million, up from 21 million in 2014. The 2015 figure is the highest to date since the inception of the system in 1998.