Dayton supports federal investigation into phone-shaped gun

Minnesota-based company Ideal Conceal has developed a gun that retracts to look like a smartphone that it plans to start selling later this year. 

Governor Mark Dayton said Thursday he supports a federal investigation of a gun disguised as a smartphone that is being produced by a Minnesota company.

The company, Ideal Conceal, developed a prototype for a two-shot pistol that folds up to resemble a smart phone. Preorders for the gun are already in the thousands and the company says it plans to begin selling the gun later this year. 

State lawmakers have already been trying to ban the opposite product – cell phone cases that look like guns. A bill to ban those cases was unanimously approved by committees in both the state House and the Senate. It now awaits floor votes in both chambers, but is expected to pass easily.

“So if you're going to pull out your cellphone to show your insurance and its' shaped like that?” Rep. Joe Atkins (D-Inver Grove Heights) asked fellow lawmakers. “What's an officer supposed to think?”

Dayton said he supports the case ban, but is even more concerned about Ideal Conceal’s new product. 

“I’ve been in ride-alongs with police where you go around the corner and you've got somebody in the shadows. And they're trying to figure out if that's a weapon or what.  And to have something that looks like a cell phone?" Dayton said at a press conference.

Atkins said he would not be surprised if a bill comes up yet this session banning the smart phone-shaped gun, but says the phone case shaped like a gun is a more immediate problem.

Right now, I think this is more dangerous than that, which may surprise some people,” Atkins said. “But, the fact is that product hasn't been sold and this one's already on the streets.