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woman uses a smartphone

Considering that eight out of every 10 people now carry around a cell phone, and most of those are iPhones that look exactly the same, it’s not surprising that there are some bizarre phone cases on the market. After all, what good is a smartphone if you lose it after someone mistakes it for their own?

From brass knuckle phone cases to rubbery animal cases that seem to serve as excellent puppy chew toys, consumers can find nearly any case to fit their style. But politicians are starting to agree that it’s time to draw a line with phone cases and personal expression.

The one thing you do not want to be carrying around now is a case shaped like a handgun.

According to the Chicagoist and Chicago Sun Times, the issue became a concern very quickly when the Chicago City Council caught wind of the trend. Considering the high rate of both non-fatal shootings and homicides in Chicago, local politicians have become increasingly concerned that the look-alike cases will prompt even more violence in one of the nation’s most dangerous cities.

Finance Committee Chairman Ald. Edward Burke has already stated that he would like to make Chicago the first city to ban possession of these phone cases. A former Chicago Police officer himself, Burke stated in a press release that “allowing these cases to proliferate in Chicago would be a threat to public safety and almost certainly lead to a tragic event.”

Although Chicago officials may be taking action against the cell phone cases faster than any other city, Chicago certainly isn’t the first major U.S. city to see the items as a safety threat.

According to the New York Times, Deputy Inspector Judith Harrison of the New York Police Department posted a message on Twitter urging people not to buy the cases, and New York Senator Chuck Schumer recently held a new conference in Manhattan asking local lawmakers to take action.

Perhaps the most surprising turn of events is the support that police forces and politicians are getting from the American public. But instead of the usual complaints and critiques of local officials, consumers have made their sentiments very clear in the product reviews on Amazon (which recently stopped selling the cases but declined to give any details about the decision, according to the NYT).

One reviewer’s reasoning seems particularly valuable: “What moron came up with this idea? We live in a society where every time there is an incident involving police, people immediately whip out their cell phones to record it. Can you imagine the reaction of police in the middle of a tense situation seeing someone pull this device out?”

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