‘Ideal Conceal’ handgun designed to look like smartphone

A startup company has invented a newly designed pistol that is shaped like, and resembles, a cellphone.

The “Ideal Conceal” pistol is expected to go on sale in the coming months.

More than five million people have viewed a video posted to the company’s YouTube page just a few weeks ago.

The footage demonstrates that the gun really works. It shows how easily a portion of the gun can be folded out to create a handle and reveal the trigger.

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said these guns will be legal in Florida, but to own one, people will need to have a concealed weapons permit.

Potential owners will need to be especially careful with where they keep the gun, Smith said.

“My biggest concern is someone having this at home, sitting on a coffee table,” Smith said. “A child will come up, they deal with cellphones (and) they pick it up. Now they have a gun in their hands. They have a weapon in their hands, and they can pull the trigger.”

Smith said that when these guns are more mainstream, it’s only going to add to what law enforcement and the TSA need to look for when checking people for weapons.

Right now, the guns can only be purchased online by people with a Federal Firearms License, and they are on back order.

About 12,000 people have already signed up to buy an Ideal Conceal pistol. The gun will sell for just less than $400.

Voters bring town hall to Rep. Rutherford’s office

Local voters who are upset with President Donald Trump’s administration want to speak with their local representative.

The voters said they have questions about lawmakers’ plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, along with questions about Trump’s immigration policies.

A group of about 100 citizens said they asked Republican Rep. John Rutherford to hold a town hall meeting while he was in town, but were told “no,” so they decided to take the town hall to his Jacksonville office in Southpoint.
They called it resistance recess and even had an empty chair available for Rutherford.

They said their top three issues are funding public schools, welcoming refugees into America and keeping the Affordable Care Act.

“I look for every way possible to interact with my constituents,” Rutherford said. “As sheriff, I did 106 town halls when we did Tasers, so absolutely I will be doing town halls. I love going out and meeting the public face to face, but this trip in, it just didn’t work.”

Dianne Larson, a Democrat who works with Rebuild the Hope, said she is optimistic that Rutherford will listen to all his constituents, but worries that he might not be bipartisan.

“I’m concerned because he’s new. I knew him as a sheriff, and I respected him as a sheriff,” Larson said. “My concern is that he’s new and that he is Republican and that he will just vote party line and not listen to us.”

A spokesperson said Rutherford has already been meeting one on one with constituents, and had several meetings scheduled before this week. Rutherford said he will use many approaches to interact with voters in his district.

“We are going to telecast town hall meetings,” Rutherford said. “We are going to do face-to-face town hall meetings. We’ll do emails, newsletters.”

In some states, town halls have become rowdy. In other cases, people protesting have said they want to hear from their elected officials during a one-week congressional recess.

“One of the things that amazes me is just how many people from the district show up at my Washington D.C. office just so they can talk to me,” Rutherford said. “I’m like, ‘Wow!’ I had no idea that many people went to D.C. to speak to their congressman. They keep me busy.”

Trump responded to the town halls this week, tweeting on Tuesday:

“The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!”

Trump supporter Gary Snow said he believes that the town hall demand is just an anti-Trump protest and is not a platform to express concerns.

“The people of Jacksonville that voted for him, that supported him, we are with him,” Snow said. “We are going to attend these rallies. We are going to defend Donald Trump, and we are going to defend our Republican congressmen.”

The group protesting Thursday said they were told that one of the reasons why Rutherford declined a town hall meeting is because of his health. The congressman collapsed during his first week in Washington and spent a week in the hospital.

Rutherford told News4Jax that he’s back to about 85 percent now.

He said the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced, but lawmakers will not just strip people’s insurance so they’re not covered.

Navy Region Southeast has new commander

In a historic day at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, the Commander of the Navy’s southeast region handed over the reins Thursday to her successor — another woman.

After two and a half years, Rear Adm. Mary Jackson passed on her responsibilities to Rear Adm. Babette Bolivar in a change of command ceremony.

Now Bolivar will be at the helm of 18 naval installations, a position historically uncommon for women.

“You’d be surprised, it happens more and more these days,” Jackson said. “It’s humbling because it’s the team that’s done the hard work here. I just get the fortune of being able to represent them.”

Jackson said she’s most proud of creating partnerships between NAS Jax and the veterans as well as the community as a whole.

“I have some big shoes to fill,” Bolivar said. “Admiral Jackson has done an outstanding job with Team Southeast, so I’m excited about joining the team.”

This will be Bolivar’s third regional command, and she was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She said her past leadership roles have prepared her for this new challenge.

“There’s always room for improvement, and we’re going to keep going until we’re effective and efficient and doing it the best we can,” Bolivar said.

Thursday’s ceremony was emotional as both women read their orders, taking on new roles.

Jackson has been promoted to Commander of Navy Installations Command in Washington, D.C. She said she will miss the people and the weather in Jacksonville but is excited about starting her new role.

The ceremony was special for Bolivar and Jackson, because they previously served together for 10 years and plan to continue their friendship, they said.

Jax Beach police warn of phone scam

The Jacksonville Beach Police Department is warning of a scam in which crooks are posing as officers and trying to steal money by calling people.

The scammer will claim to be a police officer with JBPD and say a warrant has been issued for the victim’s arrest for the unpaid taxes to the IRS.

The caller goes on to say if the victim does not immediately pay a set amount of money, the victim will be arrested.

According to police, the caller is also spoofing the phone call — an act in which a person uses a computer application to list a fake number on the victim’s caller ID.

Investigators said on Thursday that the latest spoofing call appeared to be coming from JBPD’s number, 904-270-1661.

Police warn the public that the calls are not coming from JBPD.

The Police Department said it does not solicit any type of payment by phone, and the IRS does not use law enforcement agencies to collect money.

If anyone gets that type of call, do not give the caller any information. Instead, hang up and call law enforcement to report the incident.