PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Police chief and a Pennsylvania lawmaker are joining a call to have the development of an unusual new firearm investigated.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, along with Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross have sent a joint letter to the ATF calling for an investigation into the gun, which is shaped like a smartphone, Sen. Casey’s Office said.
“I’m trying to stop the production and distribution of a firearm that’s in development that looks exactly like a smartphone,” said Sen. Casey.
Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who is a gun control advocate, called on the ATF to investigating whether the .380-caliber gun would violate any federal laws.
“There are two federal laws that might be applicable,” Sen. Schumer said at a press conference earlier this month. “A gun can’t be disguised like a pen or something else. The other says that if a gun can’t be detected as a gun as it goes through security like at an airport, both can be made illegal.”
However, the CEO of the developers of the weapon, a company called Ideal Conceal, responded by saying:
“I encourage Sen. Schumer’s investigation, as it will reveal that Ideal Conceal will fall firmly in line with ATF guidelines and is therefore legal.”
CEO Kirk Kjellberg says that the gun’s design would unfold from a smartphone shape to a fully functional weapon, which would allow a responsible owner to carry it more freely.
“There are some people that would really take serious issue in the workplace or somewhere else to see a gun on you. I think it gives people the opportunity to avoid that conversation,” he said.
Sen. Casey, Chief McLay and the Philadelphia Police Commissioner are calling for a halt to the development on the phone.
Their letter said the smartphone-looking firearm could confuse law enforcement. It also asserted that “children are also at risk… The less a gun looks like a gun, and especially, the more a gun looks like another common household item like a smartphone, the more children will lose their lives in preventable accidents.”
“I hope that Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms would, No. 1, evaluate this as to whether or not it’s compliant with federal law. I think that answer to that question should be no,” Sen. Casey said. “And then, secondly, the other question is for them to make a determination about the impact on public safety.”
Sen. Casey says if the ATF cannot ban this firearm under existing law, then a new law should be considered.