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Apple is taking away iPhone owners’ right to bear (emoji) arms

Dampening gun violence.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

iPhone owners are losing their right to bear (emoji) arms.

In the company’s forthcoming mobile operating system, iOS 10, Apple will release a slew of updated and redesigned emoji, the company said in an Aug. 1 press release. One of the most obvious redesigns will be to the 🔫  emoji. If you’re reading this before September 2016, that emoji will look like a revolver. If you’re reading from the future, it’ll look like a water pistol.

Coming soon.

After several episodes this year of horrific gun violence in the US, Apple reportedly voted at a recent meeting of the Unicode Consortium—the governing body that oversees how text and symbols read on the internet—to omit a new rifle emoji from its latest set. The company also appears to be taking  its anti-gun stance a step further by replacing the existing gun emoji with something far less dangerous: A neon green water pistol.

The company also plans to refresh many of the other emoji. It’s updating many emoji that show only men in professional roles, such as the detective emoji, the construction worker, and the emoji playing sports. With the new iOS 10, these emoji will also come in female versions.

Apple is also redesigning the people-shaped emoji to look a little less like creepy characters from The Simpsons, and a little more like people.


It’s also launching a new gay pride flag, and emoji for single parents, better representing the makeup of its modern consumers. It’s unclear whether the company plans to do anything about 💣, 🔪, 🗡, ⚔, 🚬, ☠, or 💉, however.

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