"The best gun is always the one you have with you," reads the first line of Ideal Conceal's website. The U.S.-based company has recently developed a gun designed to resemble a smartphone.
The Ideal Conceal, which shares its name with the company, is a double-barrelled 0.308-calibre firearm the company claims is compact and light enough for users to carry around in their purse or clipped to their side. The weapon is designed in such a way that it cannot be fired unless the safety feature is disengaged, which also releases the handle and unveils the trigger, the Daily News reports.
Ideal Conceal CEO Kirk Kjellberg told CNN the idea for the gun came about while he was walking through a restaurant and his pistol was seen by a little boy.
"This little kid says, 'Mommy, Mommy, that man's got a gun,' so the whole restaurant looks at you like you're about to shoot the place up," he explained. "So I thought to myself there's got to be another way to be able to carry without bothering other people."
The development of the Ideal Conceal, however, has sparked debate over children's safety. "What's disturbing is that this looks like a real smartphone," Andrew Patrick, deputy communications director at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, told the Daily Mail.
There is also the concern of children accidentally shooting others while playing with unattended firearms. It is reasonable to be concerned when a firearm designed to resemble a smartphone, a device many children use for their personal entertainment, is left unattended.
The fact that the Ideal Conceal resembles something as ubiquitous as a smartphone isn't sitting well with law enforcement agents as well. "In general, the concept of any kind of weapon that's disguised, so that it's not apparent that it's a weapon, would be cause for concern," Bill Johnson, executive director and general counsel for the National Association of Police Organizations told CNN.
The Ideal Conceal will be available for sale later this year, carrying a price tag of $395.