Smartphone handgun causes alarm among law enforcement

DURHAM, North Carolina — Thousands of people are clamoring to purchase a new handgun disguised to look like a smartphone, and it has some law enforcement officers concerned.

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying “our agency is always concerned about weapons that have the appearance of non-threatening devices. The sheriff’s office is hopeful anyone carrying a weapon that looks like a mobile device would exercise reasonable judgment and use extreme caution.”

The Minnesota-based company Ideal Conceal makes the smartphone handgun and on the company’s website touts its “lightweight,” “high velocity,” and $395 price tag as the future of concealed weapons.

Eddie Caldwell of the NC Sheriffs’ Association said the disguised weapon could impact officer safety.

“The danger to law enforcement is cell phones are so commonplace that it would not draw any particular attention,” Caldwell said.

The so-called “cell phone gun” looks just like an iPhone and it’s small enough to fit right in the palm of a hand or a pocket. It’s double barreled and a .380 caliber.

CBS North Carolina’s Mario Boone showed pictures of the smartphone gun around downtown Durham to find out what residents think.

“It’s insanity! It’s insane,” said Mark Edwards.

“That’s one of the things yes, you can do it, but should you do it? No!” said John Cheek, II.

Ideal Conceal said only concealed carry permit holders will be able to purchase the smartphone handgun which is due in stores mid-2016.

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