Gun company Culper Precision has stopped selling a new pistol customized with brightly colored block pieces after toymaker Lego issued the company a cease-and-desist letter.
Culper’s handgun, dubbed the Block19, is a customized semiautomatic Glock firearm covered with red, yellow and blue Lego-like pieces on the barrel and the grip, giving the fully functional weapon the appearance of a toy. Culper, based in Provo, Utah, introduced the Lego-style gun last week.
On Wednesday, Danish toymaker Lego said in a statement that it had asked Culper to stop selling the Block19. “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.
The product page for the Block19 had been taken down from its website as of Wednesday. Culper declined to comment and directed people to a statement on its website.
“We here at Culper Precision are grateful for the attention that Block19 is currently getting across the globe,” the company said in the statement. “It seems that no matter what we create in the firearms industry, anti-gunners seem to leverage every true innovation shortly after its release to talk about why guns are bad.”
Culper also said that it made the 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.”
Shannon Watts, founder of the gun-control group Moms Demand Action, drew attention to the Block19 on Twitter last week. She called the customized gun “a recipe for disaster.”
The controversy comes amid record gun sales in the U.S., coupled with sharp rise in gun violence this year. Americans bought roughly 23 million guns in 2020, an increase of 65% over the almost 14 million guns sold in 2019, according to data from consulting firm Small Arms Analytics. Gun sales are on pace for another record year in 2021.
A report released in May from gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety found “a tragic surge” in the number of unintentional shootings by children during the pandemic, as gun sales soared and more kids stayed home from school.
Unintentional shooting deaths by children of themselves or others rose more than 30% between March and December of 2020 compared with the same period the previous year, research from Moms Demand Action found.