A Utah company has stopped selling a kit that encases Glock handguns in Lego blocks, amid uproar and after the Danish toymaker demanded it cease and desist.
Marketing the “Block19” as a “a childhood dream come to life”, Culper Precision introduced it on Instagram, saying: “We wanted the second amendment to simply be too painful to tread on, so there was only one logical solution.”
Red, yellow and blue blocks made the original weapon barely visible, disguising it as a child’s toy.
Selling the kits for $549 to $765, the company enticed adult gun users to buy the gun “made out of the Legos you got from Santa”.
At the urging of gun control activists, Lego sent the company a cease and desist letter, demanding it stop producing the Block19.
Culper Precision’s president, Brandon Scott, told the Washington Post a lawyer told him Lego might have a case if he kept offering the Block19. He decided to comply.
“They had a similar reaction to you,” he said. “Where it was like: ‘Is it wise to make a gun look like a toy?’”
According to a report from the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, the period from March to December 2020 saw a 31% increase in unintentional shooting deaths by children of themselves or others, compared with the same period in 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic kept millions of children home as gun ownership reached record highs. The problem continues. Last week, a 12-year-old in California died after he accidentally shot himself with a gun his friend brought to a sleepover.
Shannon Watts of Everytown for Gun Safety, which sent a letter to Lego about the Block19, told the BBC there was a risk that children may be drawn to use firearms “even when guns don’t look like toys”.
But the company doesn’t appear to be apologetic. In a Tuesday Instagram post, Culper Precision said “our business is taking a firearm of known value” and transforming it into a “personalized invaluable treasure for a fair price”.
It added that people “have the right to customize their property to make it look like whatever they want”.