You’ve probably seen Trailblazer Firearms’ little LifeCard single shot .22 pistol. It folds neatly into the size of a credit card for handy, discreet carry. Trailblazer’s adorned some special edition LifeCard models with custom designs like the one above.
One thing Trailblazer hasn’t done, however, is decorate LifeCards to look like actual credit cards. But some of their retailers have (see this example of one that looks like an elite Amex black card that The Firearm Blog spotted).
As you might imagine, American Express wasn’t amused that someone was using their trademark to sell…guns. Not only have they sent Trailblazer — who, again, didn’t authorized the credit card version — a cease and desist letter, they’ve demanded the names of anyone who’s bought one.
Here’s Trailblazer’s press release about the kerfuffle . . .
Is it a Gun or a Credit Card?
American Express Company (AMEX) issues a ‘cease and desist letter to Trailblazer Firearms for Intellectual Property Misuse.
Asheville, N.C. (April 2019) – Trailblazer Firearms the company setting a new standard for discreet carry with the folding, single-shot .22 LifeCard® pistol, the size of a stack of credit cards, has received a letter from the American Express Company demanding that Trailblazer remove any images or products that feature “the use of American Express’s trademarks including, … the image of American Express’s CENTURION® Card and its component elements, as well as of the AMERICAN EXPRESS® trademark, and on all websites and social media sites (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) where Trailblazer Firearms may be advertising, promoting, and/or offering its products.”
Included in the letter dated March 27, 2019 is AMEX’s demand to provide them with the names and addresses of the individuals any products were sold to, plus the address of the individual whose name appears in the image associated with Exhibit 3 of the letter.
“The size and surface area of the LifeCard is a perfect platform for a variety of finishes, “Aaron Voigt, founder and president of Trailblazer Firearms, said. “when I saw the LifeCard engraved in the style of an actual AMEX credit card I thought it was really clever since many people don’t believe our marketing efforts that claim the gun is actually the size of a credit card.” However, since their receipt of the cease and desist order from American Express, Trailblazer Firearms has agreed not to use the AMEX image in its marketing and acknowledges that American Express is in no way associated and has not approved of any products being offered using its trademarks.
Trailblazer Firearms offers the LifeCard in two special edition patriotic finishes on their website: “We The People” Special Edition LifeCard .22LR and the American Flag Special Edition LifeCard .22LR.
Founded just five years ago, Trailblazer Firearms formed to develop innovative, American-made firearms. The LifeCard, the first product from Trailblazer Firearms, was launched in 2017. While there was much skepticism pre-launch, when the mighty and tiny pistol finally hit the market, the sales exceeded Trailblazer Firearms owner, Aaron Voigt’s, biggest expectations. Customers and product reviewers hailed the exceptional workmanship in fit and finish. Performance expectations were easily met supporting the challenge that the compact, pocket-fitting pistol would shoot accurately and comfortably, whether for small varmint control or just having fun at the range.
Trailblazer Firearms will be exhibiting the LifeCard®, a folding, single-shot .22 LR and .22WMR pistol at booth 8457 during the 2019 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 26 – 28, 2019.
About Trailblazer Firearms:
Trailblazer Firearms, headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, was founded in 2014 to design, develop, manufacture and market innovative American-made firearms. The LifeCard® is available through Ellett Brothers, Jerry’s Sport Center, Hicks Inc., Bill Hicks, Zanders Sporting Goods, Amchar Wholesale, Ron Shirk Shooters Supplies, Williams Shooters Supply, MGE, Orion Arms Corp., Lew Horton Distribution Co., Gunarama, VF Grace, and Chattanooga Shooting Supplies.www.trailblazerfirearms.com