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Get Caught With a Cellphone Case Shaped Like a Gun, Pay $750 Under Proposal

By Ted Cox | July 27, 2015 2:12pm
 The cellphone cases are designed to look like guns.
The cellphone cases are designed to look like guns.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

CITY HALL — A City Council committee moved Monday to make Chicago the first major U.S. city to ban cellphone cases designed to look like guns.

Ald. Edward Burke (14th), chairman of the Finance Committee considering the ordinance he sponsored, said they are "very hard to distinguish from a real gun."

Burke said they're not "trendy or cool," but are "easily mistaken for a real firearm."

Dean Angelo, president of the Fraternal Order of Police union, testified by showing a series of photographs of real guns and the smartphone cases designed to look like them, and defied aldermen to tell the difference.

Angelo said he'd "strongly suggest" the council approve the ban.

 An aide to Ald. Edward Burke shows aldermen how the controversial gunlike cellphone case looks tucked into a waistband during Monday's Finance Committee meeting.
An aide to Ald. Edward Burke shows aldermen how the controversial gunlike cellphone case looks tucked into a waistband during Monday's Finance Committee meeting.
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DNAinfo/Ted Cox

Burke said it was pitiful some teens might be tempted to use them in an attempt to intimidate others carrying real guns.

"They simply should not have these things," Burke said. "It's a danger to them, it's a danger to police officers."

According to Burke, police departments in New York City and New Jersey have already attacked the cases as a "terrible idea," but Chicago would become the first U.S. city to actually ban them.

The ordinance would set a fine of $750 for possession of the gunlike cases.

It passed by voice vote and heads to the full City Council for passage on Wednesday.

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