Americans will soon be able to buy a smartphone-shaped gun that can hold two bullets and easily slip into a pocket.

The Minnesota-based company Ideal Conceal says it will sell the new weapon from mid-2016.

"Ingeniously designed to resemble a smartphone, yet with one click of the safety it opens and is ready to fire," the company says on its website.

"Smartphones are everywhere, so your new pistol will easily blend in with today’s environment," it adds. "In its locked position it will be virtually undetectable because it hides in plain sight."

The gun is a double-barrelled .380 caliber folding pistol that will sell for $395, the company says.

Americans are deeply divided over gun rights between those who say carrying firearms is necessary for self-defense and others who support better gun control to fight an epidemic of shooting deaths in the country.

Firearms kill a total of 30,000 people each year.

However, Republican lawmakers, many of whom are backed by the powerful National Rifle Association, have blocked President Barack Obama's attempt to pass gun control legislation.

"No one wants to be in a dreadful situation that may require you to defend yourself with the use of deadly force," Ideal Conceal's website says. "Yet as the old adage goes: 'It’s better to have a gun and not need one, than to need a gun and not have one.'"

Law enforcers may have a different view.

"In general, the concept of any kind of weapon that's disguised, so that it's not apparent that it's a weapon, would be cause for concern," Bill Johnson, director of the National Association of Police Organizations, told CNN.

Eight states allow carrying concealed guns without a permit to do so.