A recent string of violence throughout the world has prompted many people to purchase guns. However, many have found that they cannot carry their newly-acquired guns due to concealed weapon laws in their jurisdiction.
One entrepreneur, however, believes he has solved this dilemma with a new invention, though he has already received a considerable amount of backlash for his controversial idea.
According to the Washington Times, Minneapolis businessman Kirk Kjellberg recently announced his plans to market a .380-caliber pistol that folds up to look exactly like an ordinary smartphone when it is not in use.
“In today’s day and age, carrying a concealed pistol has become a necessity,” Kjellberg said on the website of his company, Ideal Conceal. “But what if you didn’t have to conceal?”
Kjellberg claims to have come up with the idea for the “smartphone gun” after being embarrassed by a young child in a local restaurant.
“A boy spotted me in the restaurant and said loudly, ‘Mommy, Mommy, that guy’s got a gun!’ And then pretty much the whole restaurant stared at me,” recalled Kjellberg.
If Kjellberg does not enjoy receiving attention, he chose the wrong product to market. The new invention has already drawn the ire of law enforcement officials across the nation who believe that this product will only exacerbate gun violence in the U.S.
“It’s extremely dangerous and would make policing even more difficult,” said Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.
The number of smartphone users around the world grows by about 42% each year, and the devices have become ingrained in today’s culture. Therefore, law enforcement’s primary concern is that this invention would make it impossible to discern a regular iPhone from a pistol.
“It will also make it far more difficult for law enforcement officers to determine if they are dealing with armed individuals in the field, putting them at additional risk as they try to ensure the public’s safety,” said Everitt.
“But responsibility and safety clearly aren’t the focus here,” Everitt added. “Kirk Kjellberg is marketing his product to paranoid gun-toters who aren’t interested in personal accountability.”
As the New York Daily News reported, the Ideal Conceal smartphone pistol is slated to go on sale for $395 later this year. Kjellberg claims that he has already received more than 4,000 pre-orders for the device, adding that it is “just made for mainstream America, not criminal enterprise.”
Kjellberg has already been contacted by the Department of Homeland Security, which has required him to tweak the design so that airport x-ray screeners will distinguish it as a gun. However, experts say that this will not be useful in the line of duty when a police officer is forced to make a split-second decision.
There do not seem to be any laws that prevent Kjellberg from moving forward with this product, but the court of public opinion may have something to say about it before orders begin to ship.