National Consumer News

Apple to swap out gun emoji for squirt gun


By Briana Altergott, Video transcript provided by

A lot of iMessages are going to look less threatening soon.

Apple announced Monday that it is replacing its controversial gun emoji with an orange-and-green squirt gun.

The swap will be made when iOS 10 is released.

The announcement didn’t come with an explanation.

The new emoji is listed among several other emoticons that will also be released with iOS 10, including a rainbow flag and female athletes and professionals.

But the move comes almost exactly a year after anti-gun group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence started the #DisarmTheiPhone campaign in an effort to convince Apple to remove the gun emoji.

The group wrote an open letter to Apple saying: “We ask that you stand with the American people and remove the gun emoji from all your products as a symbolic gesture to limit gun accessibility. We understand taking the emoji out will not end gun violence, but this act will show Congress that gun-owning and non-owning Americans have come together to demand required background checks for all gun sales.”

Members at a Unicode meeting in June also voted to remove the rifle emoji,Buzzfeed reported.

Not long after the emoji announcement, the group’s executive director told CNN: “Apple has stood up to the bullying tactics of the NRA and gun industry by showing that there are many more life-affirming ways to express oneself than with a gun.”

The gun emoji and other weapon emoticons have landed several people in hot water.

middle-schooler was charged with threatening her school by posting an Instagram message with gun, knife and bomb emojis.

teen was arrested for posting a police emoji with pistol emoticons pointing at its head.

The updated iOS featuring the squirt gun emoji is expected to make its debut this fall.

Video includes clips and images from Apple. Music provided courtesy of APM Music.

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