Aaron Sheehan, a police officer from San Mateo County, California, took to Facebook to implore parents to stop buying their children new novelty phone cases made to resemble handguns.
Sheehan wrote in his post, which has been shared over 180k times:
As a police officer......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 San Mateo Sheriff Deputy's Association shared Sheehan's post and added a message of their own:
Please do not purchase or let your children purchase this cell phone case. Although a novelty, it will create unwanted scrutiny from law enforcement for whoever uses it. Regular citizens will see it and call 911 and then law enforcement will respond accordingly for a subject with a gun call.
The phone cases have already caused problems for both children and law enforcement. In February, a high school in DeLand, Florida went into lockdown after a teacher reported to police that one student was carrying what appeared to be a firearm. Authorities entered the building and located the student (who was 15 years old), only to discover the "gun" was nothing more than his phone case. The student was "charged with disruption of an educational institute.
DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger spoke out against the phone cases vehemently:
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 handguns. But this is the reality that we are living with and what my officers have to be aware of to keep our community safe.
The internet tended to agree with the officers:
Everyone seemed to be on the same page about the gun-phone-case being a bad idea:
Many were incredulous such a product was ever approved for sale.
Perhaps, for your own safety, you'd be better off buying something like this:
There's no way anyone mistakes that phone case for a gun. Plus, it's got Sailor Moon on there! Win-win.