A new iPhone case is for sale that looks like a handgun, and law enforcement professionals are not pleased.
The cases, which cost $10 to $50 come in white, pink, and black, and have an app that makes the phone screen look like the rest of the gun, could easily be mistaken for the real thing, critics say.
New Jersey’s Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Facebook page urges users: “Please folks — this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea. A police officers job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation. What do you think?”
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Law enforcement has taken a cohesive and strongly one-sided stance so far, unanimously cautioning potential buyers that they potentially be shot and even killed over the phone case.
Birmingham, Alabama, police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards told AL.com:
"Wow! Here is another deceptive gadget that officers must look out for. Unfortunately, it might force an officer to use deadly force in a situation where a person was just texting or making a phone call but in the officer's eyes, a gun was being pointed at him. You would think most companies would exercise a little more common sense and restraint when developing products for consumers. I guess money matters and lives don't."
It could be a matter of time before they start calling for phone cases that resemble handguns to be banned nationwide.
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The upbeat description on Japan Trend Shop does not take into account any of the officer’s safety concerns:
“More a piece of equipment than a regular ‘cover,’ the Gun Grip Case transforms your iPhone 5 into a handgun! Available in black, white or pink, this fake ‘pistol’ works with an app so you can interact with a digital version of the gun in the same color on your iPhone 5 screen. The app means you can play games of Russian Roulette at parties! Don't worry, you can't actually shoot anyone!”
Outspoken officials do not have the same lighthearted, humorous approach. Hueytown, Alabama, Police Chief Chuck Hagler suggested to AL.com, "They should market this as, 'The case for the last call you will ever make.'
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