Medical Device or Defensive Firearm?

August 25, 2011


The following article is a guest post by Max at Strange Weapon of the Week. . . for more strange weapons like this one, be sure to check out the ultimate guide in weird weaponry at

Are you wondering what to get your elderly neighbor for her 87th birthday? Fear not because I have found the answer: the Palm Pistol. This isn’t some electronic device that helps keep your calendar items straight. Invented in 2008 by Matt Carmel, the purpose of the palm pistol would be to allow people to fire a defensive firearm who normally would not be able to physically shoot a typical handgun. But here’s the strangest part: It was once considered by the FDA to be a “medical device”.

The palm pistol is essentially a one shot “in case all else fails” firearm that has a .38 special chambered. It was meant to be used for the elderly or those with arthritis as they would not normally be able to handle the recoil of other handguns. It is held cradled in the palm, with the wrist absorbing the maximum amount of shock, and it is fired with the thumb instead of the index finger.

When Matt Carmel first filed the device with the FDA, they approved the device under a “Medical” category with the reasoning of the help-the-elderly-fire-weapons mentality. Pretty soon after, however, the Brady Campaign pressured the FDA to remove that categorization, which they did.

The Palm Pistol has unique features worth diving deeper into. For instance, it has no external moving parts and as a result it can be fired from within a purse or pocket. Thus, making it a super-concealable gun!

It has not been mass-produced as of yet, however the inventor is taking plenty of deposits for
when the final product does come out–which would give the elderly and physically inferior people an easier way to defend and protect themselves.


Edited to correct the FDA filing 8/25/11.


Rob is the Founder, Editor, and writer for You Can Carry. He became interested in concealed carry, self-defense, and emergency/personal preparation as he got married and had his first kid. His new-found desire to protect his family and keep them safe led him to getting a concealed firearm permit from the state of Utah, which began an increasing love for firearms and concealed carry. He is a NRA Certified Pistol Instructor and a Utah Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor. Connect with Rob on Google+

4 Responses to “Medical Device or Defensive Firearm?”

  1. Matthew Carmel Says:

    It was the FDA who originally told me the Palm Pistol was considered a medical device and the Brady campaign who “caught wind” of it and used their political connections to pressure the agency to renege on their decision. The implication that I was attempting to sneak something by the authorities is not true.

  2. Rob Says:

    Matt–thanks for the clarification. Since this was a guest post we didn’t do the research ourselves, but we have updated the article to more accurately represent what happened. Let us know if there is anything else to add/correct.

  3. Max Says:

    Matt- Sorry for the misinformation. I try to focus on an interesting topic and condense it, I see I got part of your story wrong. Thank you for the update!


  1. La censura de lo políticamente correcto llega a Facebook | :: Jorge Valín Weblog :: - August 25, 2011

    […] una curiosa nota en You Can Es un nuevo tipo de arma muy curiosa que me ha hecho gracia (un arma de un solo tiro y concebida como de ‘último recurso’ […]