A little more than 30 years ago, a toy robot drew some controversy when it could be transformed into a real-looking handgun.
That controversy could be resurrected this year, with a real pistol that can be folded to look like a smartphone.
Minnesota startup Ideal Conceal is developing such a weapon that can fit in a back pocket or even displayed openly without anyone noticing anything unusual.
“Smartphones are EVERYWHERE, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment. In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight,” it said on its website.
It added it plans to make the pistol available for purchase by mid-2016, at $395.
In 1984, toymaker Hasbro released a version of Megatron, the lead villain in the Transformers series, that transformed into a real-looking pistol. Hasbro has since released later versions of Megatron in modes other than a gun.
The pistol is a double-barreled cal-.380 handgun with a hammerless firing system.
CNN Money reported developer Kirk Kjellberg thought of the idea when he entered a restaurant with a pistol and a concealed carry permit.
But when a child saw his pistol and told his mother about it, other customers looked at him “like you’re about to shoot the place up.”
“So I thought to myself there’s got to be another way to be able to carry without bothering other people,” he told CNN Money.
However, CNN Money also said police officers are not quite comfortable with the idea.
“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,” it quoted Bill Johnson, executive director and general counsel for the National Association of Police Organizations, as saying.
Also, the report said the disguised pistol may still require a concealed carry permit, depending on state and local laws.
Thumbnail image from idealconceal.com