Apple Swaps its Gun Emoji for Playful Alternative

Soon, you’ll no longer have the right to bear emoji arms.

The next version of Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 10, will see the existing pistol replaced with a green water gun.

The gun switch is one of a number of emoji changes announced by the company yesterday.

Following the lead of Google, Apple also introduced new and revamped emojis that show females doing jobs historically reserved for the male emoji – like detective, construction worker, and police officer.

The water gun swap isn’t Apple’s first effort to take a position on gun control. Earlier this year, the company argued against a proposed rifle emoji .

Image: Apple

The texting of pistol emojis has landed people with death threat charges.

As CNN highlights, a 12-year-old in the US was charged after apparently threatening her school in an Instagram post that included a knife, bomb, and gun emoji. In France, a man was sentenced to three months in jail for texting a gun emoji to his ex-girlfriend.

It’s safe to say Apple faced substantial societal pressure to make the change.

Last year, an organization called New Yorkers Against Gun Violence started a campaign to encourage the company to replace the pistol.

The campaign included the launch of a website and an open letter to Apple urging the company to remove its firearm emoji “as a symbolic gesture to limit gun accessibility.”

Microsoft was ahead of the game and has used a toy gun emoji instead of a pistol in Windows for quite some time.

Google, Samsung, Facebook, and Twitter still use the pistol emoji.

When attention spans and free time are at an all-time low, the emoji isn’t going anywhere in the near future (someone even re-wrote the entire bible in emoji). Sadly, it doesn’t look like gun violence is either.

Baby steps.