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Aldermen Going After Gun-Shaped Smartphone Cases

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Some aldermen want the city of Chicago to ban the sale or possession of cell phone cases that look like handguns.

Ald. Edward Burke (14th), who chairs the City Council's powerful Finance Committee, called the gun-shaped smartphone cases being sold online "outrageous." When carried in a pocket or waistband, the owner looks like he or she is carrying an automatic pistol.

Burke said he and colleagues Ariel Reboyras (30th) – who chairs the Public Safety Committee – and Willie Cochran (20th) – a former police officer who is Public Safety Committee vice chair – want to ban the controversial cases, and raise public awareness.

"Number one, we can probably fine-tune the replica gun ordinance that's currently on the books, and also hopefully make people aware of this product," he said.


Burke said he can't think of any good reason someone should have a cell phone case that looks like a gun.

"It's clear that law enforcement officers could mistake this product – if it's in a pocket or a waistband – for a real gun, and react accordingly," he said. "You'd have to be concerned about that kind of a situation."

Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president Dean Angelo reportedly said, if he saw someone approach him with one of the cases in his or her waistband or pocket, he'd have his gun out, and wouldn't take the chance the case is a real gun.

What does Burke think of people who would buy the gun-shaped cases?

"They ought to use their money on products that are more advantageous. This is ridiculous," he said.

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