JEDDAH: A 9-millimeter double-barreled pistol disguised as a smartphone has placed European police on high alert after receiving a warning of the illegal import of the handgun to the continent, news reports say.
Police have been warned to expect the weapon “to appear on the streets soon”, according to the Evening Standard.
A company calling itself Ideal Conceal announced on its website and on Facebook that the handgun is 100% American-made and would be available for purchase during the first quarter of 2017.
"Because the right of self-defense is the first law of nature," as the slogan of the company specializing in concealed weaponry says on its official website, 12,000 pre-orders have already been made.
"We have firmly closed pre-orders because we have dealers now that have signed up," said CEO Kirk Kjellberg.
The pistol, which resembles an iPhone when folded, could become a deadly two-shot gun with laser sight with just a press of a button.
“To the eye, nothing can distinguish it from a mobile telephone,” said the Belgian police alert, reported by Dernière Heure newspaper. “Most people possess a smartphone, meaning that it can pass completely overlooked.”
The gun sells for $395, much less than an iPhone 7, said a report appearing on the The Times on Wednesday.
Ideal Conceal’s Kjellberg said that the idea emerged after a child saw his gun in a restaurant and panicked.
The company's target group ranges from soccer moms to professionals of every type. "People can carry on a day to day basis, in a manner that makes carrying a gun easy to do," says the online sales pitch.