Update: eBay told 9to5Mac via email that it recently started removing listings for gun-shaped iPhone cases due to their violation of the company’s replica gun policy. eBay also noted that the cases pose a safety threat to consumers.
The New York Times reports that police officials around the United States are speaking out against a wave of gun-shaped iPhone cases that are gaining popularity. The cases, which are available in black, white, and pink, are mostly imported from Asia and are causing concern for police departments. Officials are urging users not to purchase the accessory, citing the confusion it causes for police officials.
Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip
The New Jersey State Police are being especially vocal about the cases, posting on Facebook of how it is a “terrible idea” and should not be endorsed. “Officers do not have the luxury of time when making split-second decisions,” the department wrote on Facebook. Also in New Jersey, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office warns against the accessory, again pointing out that an officer’s job is hard enough without this added layer of confusion.
The New York Police Department has also taken to social media to advise iPhone users not to purchase the gun-shaped iPhone case, posting on Twitter that it is not recommended to purchase the accessory.
Amazon has blocked sales of the accessory already and federal legislators are urging other online retailers like eBay to act similarly. Federal law requires that toy guns be outfitted with an orange mark at the end of their barrel, but these cases do not feature that indicator. For that reason, officials are working to block the cases from being imported into the United States.
The repercussions of confusion surrounding the gun-shaped iPhone case are obvious and potentially fatal, so it’s somewhat relieving to see officials speaking out against use of the cases, despite it seeming like common sense to avoid them in the first place.