Rifle Emoji Pulled From Upcoming Release

Photographed by Sam Nodelman.
Long before Congress was able to debate any changes in gun legislation, and even before last week's mass shooting in Orlando, there was a step made to remove firearms from, well, everyone's hands. According to Buzzfeed, Unicode, the technology consortium that oversees emoji, has decided to pull the rifle from its upcoming planned release of symbols.

Sources that attended a Unicode meeting in May told Buzzfeed that Apple was largely responsible for the move.

“Some people are bothered by the inclusion of the rifle as a candidate,” Mark Davis, the president and founder of Unicode, told the New York Times last year. “But the reason that’s included is because shooting is an Olympic sport.”
A number of other symbols representing Olympic sports — such as water polo, handball, and gymnastics — will be included in the release. One that depicted the "modern pentathlon," with a man shooting a gun, was also rejected.

Davis told Buzzfeed that the rejected symbols will still be added as "characters" in the Unicode database, but they will not appear on any keyboards. Texting is not free from firearm references entirely, of course, since there is currently a handgun emoji available.

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