Monday, December 08, 2008

Just let me put my teeth in first....


A gun company will market a pistol to elderly Americans that will be subsidised by the government in the same way as a wheelchair or walking frame.

The company, Constitution Arms, claims its gun, called a Palm Pistol, has won approval as a medical device for people with arthritis or other disabling conditions who have trouble squeezing the trigger on a normal firearm.

Under the deal, seniors who buy the $US300 ($460) 9mm handgun will be reimbursed by the federal government in the US, magazine New Scientist reports.

Matthew Carmel, president of Constitution Arms in Maplewood, New Jersey, said the gun was "something that they need to assist them in daily living".

"The justification for this would be no more or less for a (walking aid) or wheelchair, or any number of things that are medical devices," Mr Carmel told the magazine.

The company's sales information states: "It is also ideal for seniors, disabled or others who may have limited strength or manual dexterity.

"Using the thumb instead of the index finger for firing, it significantly reduces muzzle drift, one of the principal causes of inaccurate targeting. Point and shoot couldn't be easier."

The company informed a medical technology blog that the US Food and Drug Administration had approved it as a "Daily Activity Assist Device".

It says it has already been fielding "lots of calls" about the device, expected to available by 2010.

However, a FDA spokeswoman denied the agency had formally labelled the gun a medical device, telling the magazine no determinations had been made about the weapon.

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