Police officers are warning everyone to stay away from an iPhone case that is making the rounds of the Internet because of its shape.
The case, which was shared by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office on its Facebook page, is shaped like a gun. When the phone's owner puts the phone in his back pocket, it looks like the handle of a gun sticking out. And when the owner calls on his iPhone, it looks like he is brandishing a semiautomatic compact pistol, which means he is putting his life and the life of others near him in danger.
"Please folks - this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea," says the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. "A police officer's 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."
— NYPD 112th Precinct (@NYPD112Pct) June 30, 2015
Al Della Fave, spokesperson for the Prosecutor's Office, says the case realistically looks like the butt and trigger guard of a firearm. And since many people carry their phones in their back pockets, he says pulling it out looks like they are pulling out a concealed weapon.
The New Jersey State Police, which also posted the gun-shaped case on its Facebook page, agrees with the Prosecutor's Office, calling the case a "terrible idea."
"We strongly recommend that you do not use this product both for your own safety and the safety of law enforcement officers," says the state police.
The iPhone case is sold online and by street vendors for as little as $10. The website Japan Trend Shop sell the case for $49, a price that includes an accompanying iOS app that puts a picture of a gun barrel to match the case.
"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 listing for the case says. "The app means you can play games of Russian Roulette at parties! Don't worry, you can't actually shoot anyone!"