A California police department is urging people to not purchase a phone case that resembles a gun.
The San Mateo County Deputy Sheriff’s Association reposted a viral Facebook post on Oct. 1 of pictures of a young girl holding a gun-shaped phone case in both her hand and back pocket. The case comes in an assortment of colors, but the black version of the phone cover looks just like a firearm and may trigger residents to call authorities.
“Regular citizens will see it and call 911 and then law enforcement will respond accordingly for a subject with a gun call,” the San Mateo Department posted with a severe warning. “At minimum, someone will be proned out on the ground until the LEOs [law enforcement officers] can secure the ‘Phone case’ or someone could potentially get shot depending on their actions when LEOs respond.”
Please do not purchase or let your children purchase this cell phone case. Although a novelty, it will create unwanted…
Posted by San Mateo County Deputy Sheriff's Association on Monday, October 1, 2018
Officials said the item could “create unwanted scrutiny from law enforcement for whoever uses it.”
Facebook user Aaron P. Sheehan, who claimed to a police officer, shared a few photos of the phone case on Sept. 24. He urged parents, “Please, please do not buy this or allow your children to have this new phone case! Hell, tell everyone you know, not just your kids!”
The post has since went viral with over 190k shares and 3,000 comments.
In February, a 15-year-old student from DeLand High School in Florida was spotted walking around with the accessory, leading someone to call police on him for carrying a weapon. School officials placed the building on lockdown until officers realized the boy was carrying a phone cover that resembled a firearm.
“It makes no sense that cell phone accessories are being made to look like handguns and it makes no sense that gun manufacturers are making fatal weapons into novelties like pink handgun,” DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger told WFTS. “But this is the reality that we are living with and what my officers have to be aware of to keep our community safe.”