One Shot Or Not?

Is the Palm Pistol® Single Shot Configuration Really a Disadvantage?

The Palm Pistol® is the world’s first handgun designed specifically for the needs of the disabled. The USPTO, after a thorough domestic and international patent search, issued the 23 claim utility patent number US 7,905,042 B2 on March 15, 2011 “with no prosecutions,” a legal term that means there was no prior art. Research indicated there has never been a production firearm like this anywhere in the world. The design was the subject to a host of domestic and international media attention in late 2008 due its initial classification by the FDA as a “medical device,” later rescinded due to political pressure. Many pros and cons were explored by the blogosphere. The pros are obvious to a disabled shooter who may have no other alternatives, so let’s talk about the most common objection.

People who may not have given the matter enough consideration object to the single shot capacity of the Palm Pistol®. However, this configuration was done intentionally for several reasons:

  1. Capacity restrictions are a political threat where “offensive use” is disingenuously argued by our adversaries as a justification for additional restrictions. Even the most strident anti-rights activist would be hard pressed to argue a single shot gun is anything other than purely defensive. The anti-rights veactivists continually attempt to restrict magazine capacity from 30 to 20 to 15 to 10 to 7 to 5. Can they credibly argue for less than 1 round? What, a ½ round?
  2. Use of lethal force with a single shot gun would likely be more compelling and justifiable to a judge or jury, rather than a “high” (aka normal) capacity magazine, i.e. “Your Honor, members of the jury, the attacker was on top of me. He had his hands around my neck! I knew I only had one shot and I waited until the last possible moment when I believed my life was in mortal danger, and then fired my gun.” This is a more defensible position rather than having fired 15 rounds, 10 of which overshot the intended target, two of which hit poor innocent Mrs. Schwartz and three of which hit the attacker. Attorney Marc J. Victor has written a very thorough legal analysis pertaining to justifiable use of lethal force.
  3. A single shot gun, once fired, cannot be taken from and used against the victim. This is an argument against normal capacity magazines often made by the anti-rights activists and the single shot configuration preempts this reasoning.
  4. The development costs of a multi-shot version are well outside the resources of a small entrepreneurial company. The money invested in the current design exceeded our initial estimate by more than a factor of 10. If others wish to loan the approximately $2-3 million dollars needed to design a multi-shot version, unsecured mind you, we would be happy to get started right away.

All things being equal, and in real life they never are, a multi-shot self-defense firearm would seem to offer a better chance at stopping one or more attackers. But this presumes the intended victim is thoroughly trained, has firsthand “combat” experience using justifiable lethal force, is a walking encyclopedia of firearm regulations, has a law degree and whose independent wealth can finance a lengthy criminal/civil investigation and trial; and is prepared to become the center of a media frenzy like George Zimmerman. This doesn’t describe you? Then you may wish to think again about single shot guns.