Yellow Jacket, the Baton Rouge startup that invented a smart phone stun gun case, has launched a petition urging New York lawmakers to reclassify stun guns as personal protection devices.

“We created the first Yellow Jacket case after our own experience with robbery,” Yellow Jacket Chief Executive Officer Sean Simone said. “With the emergence of ‘Apple picking’ in the New York area we felt that it was time for us to take a stand on behalf of the state’s constituents. We hope by launching this petition, a law will go into effect allowing the use of stun guns in the state for residents to further protect themselves.”

Yellow Jacket announced the online campaign at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Yellow Jacket says in 2013 smartphone thefts accounted for 45 percent of robberies in New York City. Thefts of iPhones, known as Apple picking, accounted for 14 percent of all the crimes in the city in 2012.

The wave of smartphone thefts sweeping the country means that owning a smartphone has never been more dangerous, according to Yellow Jacket. Making stun guns legal in New York would give smartphone users a sense of security and access to a safe and effective means of protection.

Stun guns offer two layers of protection, according to Yellow Jacket. The devices use high-voltage electricity to stop an attacker by momentarily disabling muscle control, and the electrical crackling can deter an attack before it happens.