Lego has forced a US gun manufacturer to stop selling an automatic pistol that looked like a child’s toy.

Culper Precision in Utah was selling the BLOCK19 – a modified Glock handgun – for between $549 and $765

Lego, the Danish company, issued a cease-and desist letter and the maker has since stopped selling the gun. Less than 20 were sold.

When it launched the weapon the gun maker said: "We wanted the second amendment to simply be too painful to tread on, so there was only one logical solution.

“Here’s one of those childhood dreams coming to life, the Block19 prototype, yes you can actually build Legos onto it. We superglued it all together and surprisingly it survived a little over 1,500 rounds in full auto."

It said the aim was to show that shooting sports were "SUPER FUN!"

Shannon Watts, of gun control campaign group Moms Demand Action, said it was "sick".

She told the Washington Post: "Responsible gun owners should be appalled by this."

Ms Watts said her group had contacted Lego, who then contacted the gun maker.

A Lego spokeswoman confirmed that the manufacturer had agreed to stop selling the guns.

According to Everytown For Gun Safety, the gun control group, there have been more than 165 accidental shootings by children in the US so far this year.

Last year, 142 people died as a result of accidental shootings by minors.

In a lengthy statement the gun company said it was "grateful" for the attention the weapon had received.

It said: "Guns are for EVERYONE, and we want to be the first to welcome new firearms owners from any personality type or political affiliation. If you own a firearm, you are our friend."

Brandon Scott, Culper Precision’s president, told the Washington Post that gun owners should keep their weapons locked away from children.

He said when Lego contacted him "they had a similar reaction to you where it was like ‘Is it wise to make a gun look like a toy?’"