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Schumer calls for ban on gun-shaped iPhone cases

Schumer calls for ban on gun-shaped iPhone cases
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Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden Collins urges voters to turn out in Georgia runoffs MORE (D-N.Y.) is raising alarm about the sale of iPhone cases that are made to look like the handle of a 9 mm handgun. 

In letters to online retailers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the senator said the product is a disaster waiting to happen and warned it might violate federal law. 

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The New York senator's warning had an immediate effect; Amazon and eBay told news outlets they were removing listings for the product. 

"We should be doing everything in our power to end the rash of gun violence across the country, however, this product simply promotes it," Schumer said Tuesday. "Moreover, this iPhone gun case can result in tragedy if mistaken for a real gun."

He also appeared at a press conference on Tuesday alongside law enforcement officials who have for weeks on social media warned people against purchasing the cases, fearing they could be mistaken for real weapons.

The cases, available in several colors, can feature imitation trigger guards, grips, and barrels. The “Gun Grip Case” model, previously available on Amazon, had features much like those on a 9 mm handgun and could be purchased along with an app that made the phone screen display the image of a gun barrel, according to Schumer's office.

Schumer said the products appear to be manufactured outside the country and asked Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske to crack down on their import. 

"The case can pose real risks to children or others who use it, because it could easily cause a phone to be mistaken for a real weapon," he said in the letter. 

"Since CBP is responsible for ensuring that contraband material is not imported into the United States, I ask you to step up your inspections and block the importation of these fake weapons that appear to be in violation of US law," he added.

Schumer cited a federal law that requires toy guns to include an orange plug at the top of the barrel to highlight that they are imitations. 

An Amazon spokesman told The New York Times the product was no longer listed on its website. An eBay spokesman told the New York Daily News that it would remove listings because the cases pose a threat to safety.