Company To Be First Ever To Exhibit Guns at a Major Consumer Conference for Amputees
May 12, 2016 – Maplewood, NJ For likely the first time ever, a firearms manufacturer will exhibit its products at a major consumer conference geared toward amputees.
The company, Constitution Arms, which manufactures specialty firearms for the disabled, will display its Palm Pistol®, Palm Carbine™ and assorted accessories at the Amputee Coalition’s 2016 National Conference in Greensboro, NC, from June 9-11. The conference is geared toward the limb-loss community and will host a wide range of medical professionals, caregivers, prostheticians and amputees.
The sideways “T”-shaped, ergonomic Palm Pistol®, and the Palm Carbine™ based on it, are specially designed firearms that can be fired by depressing a trigger at the top and/or bottom with one’s thumb or combination of other fingers. This allows individuals with weak hands, amputations, arthritis, muscular degeneration or other debilitating medical issues to operate the firearm with ease and accuracy, creating numerous rehabilitative as well as recreational opportunities.
For these reasons, the gun will be marketed to people with physical disabilities, and the company plans to seek FDA recognition of the Palm Pistol® as medical equipment for impaired individuals, potentially qualifying owners for insurance reimbursement.
The firearm’s inventor, Matthew Carmel – who is president of Constitution Arms – is an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor. Mr. Carmel developed the idea for the firearms after encountering numerous students who found it difficult to grip and fire a traditional pistol because of medical conditions.
“One female student had such weak hand strength, she could not even rack the slide of a Walther P22” said Mr. Carmel. The Walther is a small semi-automatic handgun commonly used to train young children in the shooting sports. Mr. Carmel realized that if this student couldn’t operate such a lightweight firearm, she would have no ability to operate almost any other design – and numerous other individuals suffering from similar disabilities would be in a similar position.
He felt such individuals deserve the same opportunity to participate in the shooting sports as everyone else. He also believed a firearm designed for the disabled could provide opportunities for new therapies, helping them regain hand and upper extremity muscle capabilities and range of motion. The unique, ingenious design of the Palm Pistol® and Palm Carbine® were the result of that effort.
In developing these products, Mr. Carmel has been working with experts to devise a series of exercises that use his firearms to help rehabilitate muscles and restore motion to joints. The Palm Pistol® and Palm Carbine® are also well-suited for redeveloping eye-hand coordination, gross and fine motor skills and proprioception. This makes the Palm Pistol® analogous to other rehabilitative exercise equipment, such as a stationary bicycle or treadmill, which the FDA regulates as medical devices when used to serve a medical purpose.
“It may seem counter-intuitive that a firearm can serve a rehabilitative medical purpose. But the hand movements needed to shoot recreationally are precisely the same as those inherent in a variety of rehabilitative activities using other devices,” said Mr. Carmel. “It’s also worth noting that shooting sports are more popular than golf, in terms of the number of participants, and people with poor manual dexterity and other limitations should be able to participate in these sports.”
He added, “The fact that this device is a firearm creates a novel way to engage patients in what for them may be a critical rehabilitative program.” Although the Palm Pistol is currently in production and for sale for use by the general public, it is still being developed for rehabilitative use and is not yet available as a medical device.
Matthew M. Carmel is president of Constitution Arms, a federally and state-licensed firearm manufacturer located in Maplewood, NJ. The company produces an ergonomic handgun and long-arm called the Palm Pistol® and Palm Carbine™ respectively, which are designed for use by amputees, the disabled, seniors and others with limited hand strength or manual dexterity or who require rehabilitative exercise.