No, This Folding Gun is Not Made By Criminals to Fool Police

This fold-out pistol from Ideal Conceal is still in the concept stages.

You may have seen photos of this gun circulating on Facebook with a sentiment proclaiming that it will be a nightmare for police officers somehow, or even that it was designed with such a purpose in mind, or specifically: "Officer Alert: As if things aren't tough enough out there already, someone has come up with a pistol that presents itself like a cell phone, but rapidly turns into a double barrel .380 with laser."

Let's straighten some things out. First, none of that is true.

The idea behind the two-shot pistol is to serve the same function as a derringer for people who carry concealed legally. It can be hidden almost in plain sight, where it would look like a smartphone at a casual glance, but can be deployed quickly in an emergency self-defense situation.

It’s an interesting idea. And that’s all it is at this point, an idea.

The photos we've seen are not of a prototype or a production model, but just a 3D model, as this story on alloutdoor.com points out. The company planning to make it, Ideal Conceal, is hoping to begin production by this summer, the story says.

From the company's website: "The best gun is always the one you have with you. In today's day and age, carrying a concealed pistol has become a necessity. But what if you didn't have to conceal? That's where Ideal Conceal comes in. Smartphones are EVERYWHERE, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today's environment.  In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight."

The firearm isn't much more than a derringer when you get down to it, with two barrels chambered in .380 ACP. It isn't meant to be used in any kind of sustained engagement or as a primary defensive firearm, but as an emergency self-defense gun that can be carried all the time, regardless of clothing or other circumstances, and having one would theoretically be better than having nothing at all.

The furor the would-be gun created on social media even resulted in Snopes getting involved to address the claim: "Criminals devised a new cell phone-like gun to fool police officers."

“Thanks so much for taking the time to contact us. We totally support law enforcement. Further, we would never promote or make a product for ambushing anyone, let alone police. In fact we have received MANY requests from Law Enforcement to purchase this weapon for undercover and off duty officers. This gun is for people who need or want to carry to protect themselves. Also, this pistol cannot be fired from the closed position as people assume. This is just an everyday type of conceal carry handgun. Also, it is not even on the market yet. Will come out mid-2016.

“Thanks again for contacting us. Hopefully you can help correct this dreadful rumor."

When and if the little hammerless pistol makes it to production, the company says it will retail for $395.