It looks like a smartphone, but it can kill more than your attention span. Kirk Kjellberg, an entrepreneur from Minnesota, designed a two-shot .380 pistol that’s near-indistinguishable from a large smartphone, aimed to give citizens a personal-defense weapon that blends in everyday household items. The story went viral on Tuesday after NBC News covered the story, which shocked Kjellberg, who is still working on a usable prototype.
“Positive press is good, but unexpected,” he told Inverse. “This went viral quickly.”
Kjellberg doesn’t have detailed specs on the prototype yet, but will once it’s “out of the oven,” although we do know that the initial model will be a double-barrel .380 caliber pistol with a polymer case and steel inner workings.
Interestingly, the folding grip and rifled barrel mean the gun is classified the same way as a normal pistol, not as a disguised weapon, according to Kjellberg. Disguised weapons, like the infamous Bulgarian umbrella are classified as Title II firearms, which fall under special regulation by the ATF under the National Firearms Act. This means prospective owners would have to buy a special tax stamp to own them, and they’d be illegal in several states, similar to silenced weapons, but Kjellberg says he has it “right from the ATF” that the IDEAL Conceal’s inability to fire in its closed position keeps it from being a disguised weapon.
When folded up, the gun looks strikingly similar to a large smartphone, like the Samsung Galaxy S7.
The folded grip covers the trigger completely, acting as a trigger guard, but Kjellberg says there are also “internal mechanisms that prevent firing,” which would hopefully prevent accidental discharges if the weapon is dropped. With the handle folded out, the cell phone transforms into a recognizable pistol, albeit a very small and compact one.
Kjellberg wants to wants to start production on his smartphone-guns by mid 2016, and start selling them for an initial price of $395 shortly after.