An American gun company is at the centre of a controversy for producing a pistol that looks like a children’s Lego toy. Culper Precision, a Utah-based gun company, has developed its customised Glock weapon, named Block19, to “highlight the pure enjoyment of the shooting sports”. The handgun, dubbed the Block19, is a customized semiautomatic firearm covered with Lego’s characteristic red, blue and yellow brick design, giving the fully functional weapon a toy appearance.
The semi-automatic weapon made its debut last week, which the gun company touted as “SUPER FUN!” “This is just one small way to break the rhetoric from Anti-Gun folks and draw attention to the fact that the shooting sports are SUPER FUN!” said the website of the company.
“There is a satisfaction that can ONLY be found in the shooting sports and this is just one small way to break the rhetoric from Anti-Gun folks and draw attention to the fact that the shooting sports are SUPER FUN!” the website promoting the new gun said. It further added, “here’s the thing. Guns are fun. Shooting is fun. 30 rounds full auto is fun.”
This new toy lookalike gun triggered a massive outrage from concerned people, and as a result, Block19 has been withdrawn by the company and the page on the gun on the website has been taken down since. However, the company still justified its gun, saying that they wanted to create an opportunity to talk about the enjoyment of the shooting sports and the joy that can only be found in marksmanship practice and training.
In a statement uploaded on its website, Culper Precision slammed the anti-gun campaign in the United States, saying they are ‘sick of it’. ” We are sick of the past 30-40 years of slowly capitulating our rights away in the fear of what someone who hates us for exercising our 2nd Amendment rights thinks about us,” the statement said.
“Rather than live in fear of the loud voices on social media we decided to release Block19 in an attempt to communicate that it is ok to own a gun and not wear tactical pants every day and that owning and shooting firearms responsibly is a really enjoyable activity,” the company said justifying its decision to bring out the gun.
In the statement, Culper Person said that it had chosen to release Block19 in an attempt to show that guns were “for everyone” and that “owning and shooting firearms responsibly is a really enjoyable activity”.
Lego asks Utah-based company to cease and desist
However, the Lego-alike guns designed by Culper Precision seems to have gone into all sorts of trouble as Danish toymaker Lego Group has written to the company demanding that it stop producing the weapon that looks like made from Lego bricks.
On Wednesday, Lego Group said in a statement that it had asked Culper to stop selling the Block19. “We have contacted the company, and they have agreed to remove the product from their website and not make or sell anything like this in the future,” Lego said.
Meanwhile, Gun control campaigners have described Lego-like guns developed by Culper person as irresponsible and dangerous. Several people have pointed out that a large number of accidental firing of guns by children already happen in the USA, causing fatalities, and this will only go up with a gun that looks like a popular toy.
Shannon Watts, a gun safety activist, said her organisation had contacted the Danish toymaker about the customised Block19 last week and that the Danish company had then sent a “cease and desist” letter to Culper Precision.
Calling it a recipe for disaster, the gun activist also criticised Culper Person saying there was a risk that children may be drawn to use firearms “even when guns don’t look like toys”.
Review of the product from a commenter on the Firearm Blog: “This, if real, is the most irresponsible gun modification I have seen in a long time. Perfect fodder for the ‘Everytown for Gun Safety’ people. Not a help.” https://t.co/T36lzybfhW— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 8, 2021
According to Watts, it is illegal in the US to produce a children’s toy that resembles a real gun, however, there is no clarity on whether manufacturers can produce guns that resembles a toy.
Company withdraws its lego-toy design gun
Meanwhile, Culper Precision president Brandon Scott said to the Washington Post they have decided to comply with the request from Lego after discussions with a lawyer. The company added that the firearm could only be purchased by those legally permitted to own a gun. The company has also reportedly removed the particular weapon from its website.
The controversy comes at a time when the United States has recorded the highest gun sales this year, coupled with a sharp rise in gun violence this year. Data suggests that the US citizens bought nearly 23 million guns in 2020, a 65% increase over the almost 14 million guns sold in 2019. Moreover, gun sales are expected to hit an all-time record in 2021.
Gun violence cases involving children are also on the rise in the US, as more than 140 people were killed in such gun-related incidents last year.