A South Jersey prosecutor is warning residents that carrying a controversial new handgun-shaped cellphone case is not smart.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's Office posted a photo of the iPhone case on its Facebook page Monday with a warning: "This is not a cool product or a good idea."
Spokesman Al Della Fave said the cases haven't triggered any incidents yet, but several law enforcement officials had expressed concerns with the product.
"The first thing you notice is the realistic butt of the weapon and the trigger guard," he said. "And most kids ... carry their cellphones in their back pocket, and if they were to reach back for it, to pull it out to make a call, it's the same motion as someone pulling a concealed weapon."
Della Fave said local police have had similar concerns with products that resemble or conceal weapons.
"It's just an accident waiting to happen," Fave said.
The iPhone-only cases are sold on the Internet and are available in a range of colors. Prices generally range from $5 to $10.
With the rash of recent protests, Della Fave said he could imagine someone in a large crowd pulling out their cellphone, bedecked in the gun-themed case, to record the events.
"So they go to reach for this to record the incident," he said, "and they become part of the incident."