Last year, police departments started speaking out against a wave of gun-shaped iPhone cases that were gaining popularity. If common sense wasn’t enough, police departments warned that using such cases was a “terrible idea” and puts people in danger. Nevertheless, a London man could be facing charges for having a gun-shaped iPhone cased while at London Stansted Airport this week.
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In a series of tweets, the Essex police shamed the man, warning everyone that cops have a “split second decision to make” in instances like this. The police also warned that bringing such a case to an airport “makes it much less likely you’ll catch your plane,” while reminding people not to be foolish.
At this point, it’s unclear if the man has faced charges, but the Essex police didn’t rule the possibility out. On Twitter, the department explained that the man could be changed with Sec.5 Public Order, which relates to using threatening words or behavior to alarm or distress. Additionally, the man could face charges for possession of an imitation firearm in a public place.
The Essex police note that the image shared of the back pocket on Twitter is a stock image and that the gun-shaped case was not discovered until a routine security check.
Last summer, police departments in New York and New Jersey warned citizens about the gun-shaped iPhone cases, pointing out that an officer’s job is hard enough without the confusion of wondering if something is a real gun or an iPhone case. The issue many law enforcement officers have with the cases is that the majority don’t carry the federally-required orange mark at the end of their barrel. Many online retailers, including eBay and Amazon, have blocked sales of gun-shaped phone cases because of these warnings from law enforcement.
Using a gun-shaped iPhone case, as pointed out by law enforcement, has potentially fatal consequences in addition to the legal consequences. With such cases being removed from retailers, the problem has significantly subsided in the last year, but as proven by the situation at the London Stansted Airport, it has yet to be totally mitigated.