Reps. Joe Atkins and Dan Schoen call for ban on gun-shaped cell phone cases
J. Patrick Coolican
July 10, 2015 — 10:36am
A pair of DFL lawmakers said they will introduce legislation next year to ban cell phone cases that resemble firearms.
Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, and Rep. Dan Schoen, DFL-S. Saint Paul, said at a morning news conference that the legislation will ban the manufacture, sale and possession of the cell phone cases, an idea advocated recently by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY.
"From a law enforcement perspective, this is a disaster waiting to happen," said Schoen, who is a police officer and paramedic.
He recounted the pain of comforting fellow officers involved in shootings and said mistaken shootings are every officer's worst nightmare.
Asked whether the cell phone cases are more dangerous than actual guns, to which Americans are entitled to possess under Second Amendment protection, Atkins said, "Both are dangerous under certain circumstances."
Amazon recently stopped selling the phone cases through its marketplace. The legislators have sent letters to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Retailers Association urging members not to sell the cases.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."