U.S. Senator wants investigation into gun that looks like a phone

Standing beside photographs of a new product, U.S. Sen Charles Schumer, (D-New York), shown holding an iPhone 5S, voices his opposition to a handgun that appears to be a cell phone during a news conference in his office, Monday, April 4, 2016, in New York. According to the website of Ideal Conceal, the company has developed a double-barreled, .380 caliber handgun that can serve as a concealed weapon. The gun lists for $395. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Monday called on the federal Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate before a gun that looks like an iPhone comes to market, but the head of the company making it said concern over the two-shot weapon was misplaced.

The New York Democrat said the gun, being promoted online by a Minnesota company calling itself Ideal Conceal, “is just a disaster waiting to happen.”

On its website and Facebook page, Ideal Conceal has images that show something that looks like a phone in its case. But it can open into a .380 caliber gun. The site lauds its “high velocity, increased accuracy,” and the weapon has a list price of $395.

CEO Kirk Kjellberg said the gun would likely be ready for sale later in the year. He pushed back against the outrage, pointing out that there are already small, easily concealed guns with more firepower than two shots on the market, as well as a wide range of holsters for practically every part of the body.

“The idea that this is going to cause some new big threat is just not true,” he said, calling it a defensive weapon only. Kjellberg has a concealed carry license. He said he came up with the idea for the gun after a young child in a restaurant caught a glimpse of his weapon and pointed it out.

Schumer said a gun looking like an everyday item could violate federal law, which was why he was asking the Justice Department and the ATF to investigate.

He said it posed a threat to law enforcement if it was allowed to be sold, because they could find themselves in a situation where they wouldn’t know if a suspect was pulling out a phone or a gun.

Schumer spoke out last year against a phone case that made a phone look like a gun.

On Monday, he said, “Just like toys that too much look like handguns should not be sold, handguns that look too much like toys should not be sold.”

ATF had no comment, and the Department of Justice did not respond to an email seeking comment.

KRQE.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s