Instead of hitting the golf course like his father, Donald Trump Jr. frequently shares via social media that his favorite weekend pastimes include hunting, fishing, chopping wood, and trolling his father’s political opponents. This week, he was doing at least one or two of the above at the upstate New York retreat he owns with brother Eric, and he took the opportunity to model a very interesting fashion accessory he owns. It’s a belt buckle with a built-in .22 caliber pistol that is more than decorative.
“Had fun getting a bit dirty today… also I got to bust out the coolest belt ever. Taking open carry to a whole new level!” Trump wrote on Instagram, sharing three photos of his tiny toy.
According to the people who sell them secondhand online, the Freedom Arms belt buckle gun was discontinued in 1989, but there are other manufacturers that make similar guns you can hide in plain sight.
Just because it looks like a fashion accessory does not mean it doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of gun laws, particularly in states that prohibit open carry.
North American Arms, who makes a similar product, answers the question of whether its buckles count as concealed or open carry in a noncommittal (if slightly joking) way on its FAQ page: “This depends on a number of factors, not the least of which includes the girth and midriff overhang of the wearer. Seriously the laws which govern the carrying of firearms are specific state to state. It’s my observation that the definition of ‘concealed’ varies greatly from one jurisdiction to another. We are manufacturers, not lawyers, and won’t pretend to offer any advice here; please check with the appropriate authorities in your location for a definitive answer.”
Either way, Trump would not be able to walk around in public in New York — which is where his Instagram geotag said he was — wearing this little pistol. The state is one of the few with very clear laws against open carry, for one. For another, Trump reportedly applied for a concealed carry permit in Pennsylvania in March, and New York does not recognize the other state’s permit.
However, Trump was most likely just wearing the gun belt on his own 171-acre property, which has garnered local attention for the sound of gunfire in its woods. This little one probably won’t bother the neighbors.
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