Fake iPhone gun poses problems

Daily Editorial Board

A Minnesota legislative committee authored a bill last week that would criminalize the purchase, possession and production of phone cases that look like guns.
 
 
The lawmakers who proposed the measure have also voiced concern over a Minnesota-based company that intends to sell a high-velocity, .380 caliber gun made to look like an iPhone. By mid-2016, Ideal Conceal expects to begin selling the “self-defense” weapon for a paltry $395.
 
 
Among countries in the developed world, the United States has the highest prevalence of gun-related homicides, with a yearly total upwards of 11,000. Since 2012, there have been more than 1,000 mass shootings in the U.S., a statistic that accounts for only 5 percent of gun shootings. 
 
 
Following last year’s attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, gun sales spiked. One in three adults now owns a gun in the U.S.
 
 
The marketing of concealable defense weapons promotes a dangerous climate of vigilantism. Without proper legal oversight and regulation, the proliferation of inexpensive, inconspicuous firearms could complicate the work of law enforcement and endanger public safety.
 
 
What’s more, a gun that resembles an iPhone obscures the line between toy and firearm.
 
 
In short, because of its novelty appeal, the gun proposed by Ideal Conceal has the potential to be grossly misused and could contribute to the country’s already uncontrolled and rampant gun culture. We urge lawmakers to enact legislation that would criminalize weapons intended to deceive people, including gun-like iPhone cases and phone-like guns.