In attempts to teach that guns are not toys, one iPhone case is setting the cause back considerably. Recently, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey, Della Fave, posted a photo of herself carrying an iPhone gun case in her back pocket, proving that the accessory could easily be mistaken as a dangerous weapon. Particularly in tense situations involving police officers, reaching into one’s pocket can already be perceived as a threatening action. And withdrawing a phone that closely resembles a firearm seems like a recipe for disaster.
The most convenient way to hold the phone when it’s in the case is in the same manner as one would hold the semiautomatic compact pistol it is meant to resemble. Said Fave, if someone with the case draws the phone, “the first thing [an officer would] see as it’s coming up is the trigger guard and the butt of the gun. This doesn’t seem like a good idea at all to me.”
While it is unclear who actually makes the ill-conceived product, Japan Trend Shop, a retailer of one such case, says in its online product description, “The app [ease] means you can play games of Russian Roulette at parties! Don’t worry, you can’t actually shoot anyone.” The case sells for between $5 and $49, but police officers warn that owners may pay a higher price if they find themselves in precarious scenarios with law enforcement officials.
An NYPD officer from Queens tweeted an image of the all too convincing case, saying, “I would NOT suggest purchasing this cell phone case, which was designed to look like a firearm.”
Many are calling for the case to be banned altogether, with one former officer calling the accessory “the stupidest, most dangerous thing I’ve ever seen” in an interview with the New York Daily News. So be wise about how you dress up your iPhone, and don’t turn it into a pretend hazard that could be a hazard to yourself.