For many concealed carriers, making gun-friendly wardrobe choices can often be a matter of necessity. Many states have laws making it illegal for your firearm to be visible in any way while carrying with a concealed weapons permit, and even if your state isn’t one of them, you often may not want to advertise the presence of your gun to the strangers around you, until of course, you need it.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to keep your firearm completely hidden. Even with a good holster and small-framed pistol, you may occasionally find yourself bending or twisting in just the right fashion to advertise your everyday carry to the entire room, as Kirk Kjellberg found out firsthand. According to Kjellberg, he was carrying his pistol in a restaurant in his home state of Minnesota when a child noticed it on his hip and made a loud declaration to his parents, and the rest of the people in the building, that “the man over there has a gun!” Of course, he had the legal right to do so, but it didn’t stop the entire restaurant from pausing what they were doing to stare at the embarrassed Kjellberg, who only wanted to grab a bite to eat.
“I just decided there’s gotta be a better way to carry,” Kjellberg told a local news affiliate, “and I was just looking around and noticed everyone had a smartphone, so why not make a pistol that would look like that?”
And Kjellberg did just that. The “Ideal Conceal” pistol is a breech-loading, two-shot pistol chambered in .380 that folds up into the relative size and shape of a smartphone. Kjellberg secured approval for the production of the pistol through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives after a year of engineering, and is now seeking investors to bring the firearm to market.
“As long as it has (a rifled) barrel and cannot be fired in a closed position, they will classify it as a pistol,” Kjellberg said.
Of course, selling a pistol that was designed to be mistaken for a smartphone was sure to draw some criticism. Gun-control activists were quick to point out the likelihood of people using these concealable weapons to carry out crimes, and members of the law enforcement community voiced their concerns about how such a weapon could make their jobs considerably more dangerous. Some worried out loud that children would be more apt to play with a pistol that resembled a smartphone, and concerns about these weapons sneaking through security at important events have been levied by many on both sides of the gun-control debate.
According to Kjellberg, his company has attempted to assuage some of these fears by working to ensure the firearm is readily visible in the kinds of X-ray machines employed by security agencies around the country, and he attests that the two-shot capacity and need to unfold the weapon in order to deploy it makes it less likely to be used when committing a crime.
“It would be easier to shoot someone in a nefarious way with a regular pistol than it would be with ours,” Kjellberg claimed.
Beyond the concerns levied about this weapon, it also likely wouldn’t make for a very effective primary EDC firearm, either. It would be difficult to rapidly deploy, and its two-round capacity means it would likely be good only for engaging a single, close-range target—which is exactly what unfolding a pistol you drew from your back pocket would be terrible for. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Ideal Conceal pistol is without purpose. It could make for a great emergency weapon you keep in your glove box, purse, or tucked into your back pocket if you’re the type of person that likes carrying a backup.
The Ideal Conceal is currently slated to hit the market later this year, and Kjellberg predicts it will sell for around $500. Whether or not the Ideal Conceal will prove to be a weapon of choice for responsible gun owners or if it will replace the Hi Point as the drug dealer’s pistol of preference is yet to be seen, however, and the debate is likely to rage on well after it hits the shelves of your local gun shop.
Images courtesy of Ideal Conceal