SALT LAKE CITY – A Utah company has stopped selling a kit that encases Glock handguns in Lego blocks after the Danish toy maker sent it a cease-and-desist letter at the urging of gun control activists.
Provo-based Culper Precision started marketing the "Block19" about a week ago as a "childhood dream come to life." The company customizes, builds, and modifies firearms and firearm accessories. The kit, which sold for $549 to $765, refashioned the lethal weapon with red, yellow, and blue brick to look like a children's toy.
"We have been building guns out of blocks for the last 30 years and wanted to flip the script to aggravate Mom," Culper Precision explained on its website, according to the Washington Post. It went on to argue that personal defense is a right granted by God and that gun ownership is protected by the Constitution.
"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 site proclaimed. "Here's the thing. Guns are fun. Shooting is fun. 30 rounds full auto is fun."
But gun control advocates found the Block19 not fun but dangerous.
Shannon Watts, of the Everytown for Gun Safety, said her organization contacted Lego about the customized gun, and that the Danish company had then sent a "cease-and-desist" letter to Culper Precision.
According to an Everytown for Gun Safety report, there was a 31% increase in unintentional shooting deaths by children of themselves or others from March to December 2020 over the same period in 2019.
Culper Precision President Brandon Scott told the Washington Post that a lawyer told him Lego might have a case if he kept offering the Block19. Scott, who wouldn't say exactly how many he'd already sold but said it was fewer than 20, decided to comply.
"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 in a brief statement, according to the Associated Press.
Scott maintains that the design was all about exposing people to the fun of shooting, an aspect of firearms that, he said, the media and gun control activists often overlook because they're too narrowly focused on the tens of thousands of people who are killed by them, the Post reported.
Instead, he was fulfilling a childhood fantasy for his adult customers, referencing how the customization mimicked the "pretend guns" people made "out of the Legos you got from Santa," according to the Post.
David Pucino, a lawyer at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told the Washington Post the Block19 is dumb but legal in at least most of the country. Although federal law prohibits toys from being manufactured to look like guns, no such law prohibits guns from being made to look like toys.
Pucino noted that New York state bans people from disguising firearms as something else, which could make the Lego-covered Glock illegal there, but he doubted that many other states have similar regulations.
In response to a text message, Culper Precision said Scott was not available Wednesday and pointed to a statement on its website.
While the company has halted sales of the Block19, it appeared unapologetic about its reasons for selling the gun.
"We here at Culper Precision are grateful for the attention that Block19 is currently getting across the globe. We built Block19 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," according to the statement.
The company says its business transforms a firearm into a "personalized invaluable treasure."
"People have the right to customize their property to make it look like whatever they want," according to Culper Precision.
"It seems that no matter what we create in the firearms industry anti gunners seem to leverage every *true* innovation (block19 is NOT an innovation it is a fun safe queen) shortly after its release to talk about why guns are bad," the company says. "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."