Apple Shoots Down Rifle Emoji from the Latest Batch

June 21, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

It seems like holding rifles isn’t safe even in the digital world. Despite making an appearance in the candidate list that was revealed earlier, the rifle emo has now been dumped by Unicode from its latest list.

Unicode, which holds the rights for selecting and overseeing emojis, decided to wipe out the emo following discussions with the members during and after its quarterly meeting held in May.

No official word has yet been given out, but the dumping of the emo has been reported by multiple members of the consortium who were part of the discussions.

The decision to remove the emo is said to be unanimous within the consortium. However, it is also firmly believed that the strings were pulled by Apple, one of Unicode’s largest and influential member companies.

rifle.epjSome of the members were reported as saying that the decision to pull out rifle emo was triggered by Apple, who opposed the support for rifle emoji in their platform, and it was later supported by the rest including Microsoft. Along with the rifle emo, the consortium has also pulled the brakes over ‘modern pentathlon’ emo, which portrayed a firing pistol in the hands of a man.

The move is quite unique, since most of the emojis approved as candidate makes their way onto becoming fully-fledged emojis. The rifle emo has also been passed onto the encoding process for the Unicode 9.0 release, which will be presented soon.

There is no official reason given out for the omission of rifle. The emoji was included considering the recognition of shooting as an Olympic sport. However, there were earlier protests which opposed the inclusion of rifle, deeming the familiarization of weaponry images to be a bad idea. It’s believed that the earlier inclusion of pistol emoji could have helped the unanimous support for the decision.

Neither Unicode nor Apple has come up with a response despite the move being said to be a unanimously supported one.

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