New York Daily News

June 30, 2015, 12:47 PM

  

 

Cops and anti-gun advocates warn against 'deathtrap' iPhone case shaped as handgun: 'This is going to get our kids killed'

BY THOMAS TRACY, LAURA SANICOLA, BILL HUTCHINSON

    
HANDOUT  
Some of the cases come with an app that puts up a picture of a gun on the screen — completing the overall image.  

It might protect your iPhone, but it could also get you killed.

A new iPhone case that’s shaped like the grip of a handgun was blasted on Tuesday by cops and anti-gun advocates as “a deathtrap.”

Concerned critics demanded the gun-grip cases be banned from being sold on the Internet and stores, saying they can easily be mistaken for a real firearm. “This is the stupidest, most dangerous thing I’ve ever seen,” said one former cop who spoke anonymously of the accessory.

Making matters worse is that the gun-handle cases — which can be purchased online or from street vendors throughout the city — also come with an app that puts a picture of a gun barrel on the iPhone’s screen.

They will no doubt doom teens who are caught with the pistol cases sticking out of their pockets, law enforcement officials said.

“I would NOT suggest purchasing this cell phone case, which is designed to look like a firearm,” a tweet from the NYPD’s 112th Precinct in Queens read on Tuesday.

The head of the city’s largest police union predicted the cases will endanger “both the lives of those who carry it and the police officers whose job it is to rid the street of illegal guns.”

“The money that is earned from the sale of this case is blood money earned from the blood of the person who is foolish enough to carry it,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.

JOE MARINO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The gun handles cases are sold online as well as from street vendors unfortunately, and come with an app that puts a picture of a gun barrel on the iPhone's screen.

Brooklyn community activist Tony Herbert agreed.

“If I were a cop and it was dark and I saw this (case) on a person, my first thought would be to pull my gun and defuse the threat,” Herbert said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Inez Rodriguez, 62, a member of Grandmothers Love Over Violence, an anti-violence group in Brooklyn, said the cases would only invite trouble. “They think it’s cute, but this is going to get our kids killed,” Rodriguez said.

The gun cases for the iPhone 5 and 6 sell from $10 to $49 and come in black, white and pink, according to Amazon.com. “Protect your phone from scratches, shocks and collisions,” the website states. “Moreover, make your mobile phone shining and special.”

The website Japantrendshop.com, which also sells the gun grip case and the app, advertised them as accessories that transform “your iPhone 5 into a handgun!”

TODD MAISEL/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Community advocate Tony Herbert wants legislators to ban an iPhone case that looks like a gun.

“The app means you can play games of Russian roulette at parties! Don’t worry, you can’t actually shoot anyone!” the site tastelessly boasts.

Herbert is pushing city and state legislators to ban the sale of the phone case. “We have to ban the sale of this item before lives are lost,” he said.

Calls to Amazon.com about the gun cases — which are sold from a third-party seller — were not returned. An Apple representative said the company has nothing to do with the product and declined further comment.

Joash Fynx, a black teen from the Bronx, said he was too smart to carry such a dumb thing around.

“If a person of my race had something like that, it would be really dangerous,” said Fynx, 19, who added, “Something like that can easily be mistaken for a weapon, especially in a bad neighborhood.”

His friend, Ka Ren Liu, 17, said, “And the NYPD would, of course, take action first without waiting for you to explain.”

ttracy@nydailynews.com