The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) invaded Grand Beach, Manitoba, Canada on Sunday after it was reported a man was carrying a handgun in his back pocket. It turned out that what he actually was carrying was a cellphone case in the shape of a handgun, according to the Winnipeg Sun.
Several police officers were sent to Grand Beach after the RCMP got a call about a possible gun. They went out heavily armed with rifles and Tasers to, as they say, get their man. But their man was sitting at Grand Beach with his family and had no clue he had caused such a stir. It didn’t take long for the Mounties to discover that all was for not and what they had was a case of bad judgement in choosing a cellphone case. Although the handgun shaped cellphone cases aren’t illegal in Canada, as CBC Manitoba reports, the man in question cooperated, gave the cops his case for them to dispose of, and was not charged.
RMCP spokesperson Sgt. Bert Paquet issued a warning to the public to avoid using these handgun cellphone cases to avoid future incidence like this.
“Unfortunately some people do not realize the risks associated with openly carrying or displaying these replicas in a public space. Anyone who owns this type or similar devices should safely dispose of them immediately.”
This cell phone case was spotted on waistband of man at Grand Beach. RCMP were called. More tonight on #cbcmb pic.twitter.com/QhzprvZIOd
— Angela Sterritt (@AngelaSterritt) August 12, 2015
The ill-conceived cases have already caused a stir in the United States, according to the New York Times. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s office made it clear in a Facebook post that the handgun shaped cellphone case is not a wise consumer choice.
“Please folks – this cell phone case is not a cool product or a good idea. A police officers job is hard enough, without having to make a split second decision in the dark of night when someone decides without thinking to pull this out while stopped for a motor vehicle violation. What do you think?”
United States Senator Chuck Schumer put pressure on online shopping sites like Amazon and eBay to stop selling the handgun shaped cases, which may actually be illegal in the U.S. because they don’t have an orange mark on the barrel that indicates it isn’t a real gun.
The unfortunate case of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old Cleveland, Ohio boy who was killed by a police officer because the boy was holding a toy pellet gun, highlights, among other things, what can happen when police are unaware that a weapon is fake.
The Winnipeg Free Press reports that Sgt. Paquet would be supportive of efforts like those being taken in the U.S. to get rid of these handgun shaped cases.
“We definitely support any kind of policy that would get rid of these items, because it would enhance the safety of our communities and our officers as well, so definitely we would support a ban on these items.”
In the meantime, those looking for a case for their cellphone should probably forgo the handgun design for safety sake, especially if you are headed to Grand Beach.
[Photo from RCMP]