December 8, 2008

Constitution Arms to build firearm for elderly, disabled

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Start-up manufacturer Constitution Arms is preparing to build the Palm Pistol, an unusually shaped handgun for the elderly and disabled.

The Palm Pistol is a single-shot DAO defensive firearm chambered in 9mm that may be fired using either hand without regard to orientation of the stock.


The company says it’s suited for home defense, concealed carry or as a backup gun.

Palm Pistol

A computer rendering of the Palm Pistol appears on the company's website.


Matthew Carmel, president, said, “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 single-shot 9mm handgun doesn't look like any other gun you know. It resembles a bean-bag held in the palm, and the barrel points out between the user's middle and ring fingers. The shooter presses a button at the top of the beanbag with the thumb.


Constitution Arms says the Palm Pistols has been certified by the FDA as a "Class I Medical Device." That means doctors could prescribe the handgun to qualified patients, who would then have some or all of the cost reimbursed by Medicare or private insurance.


The gun will cost about $300. Deposits are $25, though Constitution Arms doesn’t specify a delivery date.

“The ATF has classified the design as a standard ‘pistol’ and is thus not subject to NFA regulations,” Carmel said. “This will permit the gun to be sold like any other traditional handgun without the additional tax and registration requirements of designs that otherwise would have been classified as AOW [Any Other Weapon].”


The Palm Pistol lacks iron sights and has a slim profile to allow concealment without printing. There are no external moving parts, which permit it to be fired from within a pocket or other clothing without the possibility of jamming on fabric. The design also includes a loaded chamber indicator, a 3-digit combination lock which secures the trigger, a Picatinny rail for attaching accessories such as a strike bezel, light or the LaserLyte Subcompact V2 laser sight, may also be incorporated as optional features.


Carmel said, “The design is suited for home use, concealed carry enthusiasts, collectors and as a backup gun. The Food and Drug Administration has completed its ‘Device/Not a Device’ determination and ruled the pistol will be listed as a Class I Medical Device. An effort is underway to obtain Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Durable Medical Equipment coding for the Palm Pistol.

“If we are successful in obtaining DME coding, it is possible the medically prescribed purchase of the Palm Pistol will be reimbursable by Medicare or private health insurance companies for qualified insured [persons].” Carmel said, “Sales will be direct to consumers by Constitution Arms through the company's website, various online auction websites, and other avenues. An attempt will be made to produce the product entirely with US-made components.”


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Comments (10)

Constitution Arms says the Palm Pistols has been certified by the FDA as a "Class I Medical Device." According to a more recent notice on the Constitution Arms website, the FDA had NOT "certified" this "gun" as a "Medical Device" and, in fact, the FDA has issued a statement that it will not.

A few points here:

--Constitution Arms has never made a gun. According to its website, the company provides firearm instruction. And sailing instruction. This gun "exists" only as a rendering.

--Why 9mm, a relatively high power centerfire rimless cartridge, for the the caliber of this conceptual gun intended for use at very short ranges by the physically impaired? Wouldn't .22 or .22 mag be a better choice? Either is easier to extract and reload and have less penetration and recoil than a 9mm.

--Practice is a fundamental responsibility of any firearm owner. It's unlikely that Granny will head to the range every week to shoot this thing.

This concept is an interesting, if flawed, but it's generating some good comments here.

Posted by: maggie | December 12, 2008 8:13 AM    Report this comment

Dumb, dumb, dumb, this sounds like a thinly disquised suicide tool to me, Believe me being a CCW holder for a long time, I want my good intentioned fellow citisins to be armed, as they have every right to. Placing one of these in the hands of the elderly in a rest home setting is inviting catastophe. I won't even guess at the accuracy of a design like this , no matter how well it;s made. Give one to granma and hope she offs herself, thats what this sounds like to me....Dick, Exeter, ca.

Posted by: Dick | December 11, 2008 11:57 PM    Report this comment

Has anyone done any testing to see if a elderly person can really fire and hit something? I like to see the proff on the FDA classification. What dies it really look like? When I see it at the Shot Show, I'l start really looking at it for my Mother-in-Law who is starting to have problems with the double action of her 32 Mag

Posted by: John M | December 11, 2008 11:27 PM    Report this comment

It us a medical device since it saves one's life and/or health

Posted by: Zeman | December 11, 2008 11:24 PM    Report this comment

This is the dumbest fucking thing I have ever seen. I am a proud gun owner and supporter of second amendment rights, but I think the FDA's classification of this weapon as a "medical device" is idiotic and outrageous. Since when is homicide a medical procedure?

Posted by: Pacopond | December 11, 2008 7:58 PM    Report this comment

Don't let the AARP find out about this! When last I checked, the AARP had taken a firm stand against the elderly possessing firearms for self defense. The AARP is on record as having made monetary contributions to Handgun
Control, Inc.....the forerunner of the National Violence Policy Center. I'd guess that the AARP figures if all of us oldsters are living in controlled access retirement homes, we won't need protection. Yeah, tell that to my mother-in-law, who has had rude awakenings in the night from intruders in her
retirement center....that has no on premises security guards.

Posted by: canovack | December 11, 2008 5:52 PM    Report this comment

Giving the elderly and disabled a means of self protection is a joke? I'll admit this is outside of the box thinking, but there definitely a need for a device like this. The elderly and disabled are prime targets for the predators living among us and they shouldn't be denied the means to protect themselves. Elderly and disabled people are still people and have the right to live as close to a normal life as possible and that includes their personal safety.

Posted by: TBILL | December 11, 2008 1:57 PM    Report this comment

What? No bayonet lug? This is a joke, right?

Posted by: maggie | December 11, 2008 1:07 PM    Report this comment

This $25.00 "deposit" is misleading. He says it is to determine if there is enough interest to attract investors. Then a "decision" will be made to produce it, with deliveries sometime in 2010. Sounds VERY shakey.

Posted by: Dutchflyer | December 11, 2008 12:26 PM    Report this comment

I have given my 86 year old mother-in-law a
short barreled .22LR revolver for her self-defense. She has severe arthritis, but if she
really tries hard, she can pull the trigger. This little gadget would be a godsend for her.
I do, however, think a multiple shot capability would make this even more effective.
Perhaps something akin to the palm pistols that were the rage in the late 1800s/early 1900s would fit the need.

Posted by: canovack | December 11, 2008 12:23 PM    Report this comment

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