If you were looking forward to the rifle emoji in the next emoji update from Unicode, the technical organisation in charge of selecting and overseeing emojis, you’re out of luck. According to reports, the emoji will not be included because Apple does not approve of it.
According to BuzzFeed News, Apple is one of the largest member companies in Unicode who “not only has voting rights, but also holds a considerable influence”. BuzzFeed News quotes its sources, who were present at the quarterly meeting last May.
“Apple told the consortium it would not support a rifle on its platforms and asked for it not to be made into an emoji. “I heard Apple speak up about it and also Microsoft,” one of the member present at the discussions told BuzzFeed News.”
The rifle emoji is part of the Olympic-themed emojis that is intended to coincide with this year’s games in Rio. Rifle shooting is an Olympic sport, along with other sports such as gymnastic, handball, and water polo, which will be receiving their own emoji sets as well. Other emojis approved include a series of gold, silver and bronze medals, a person doing cartwheel, and more.
Don’t worry though, Apple isn’t completely removing all gun related items from its platform. The existing handgun and bomb emoji will still be available, and the App Store continues to have action games with icons that depict guns and shooting.
Apple and Unicode members decline to comment on this matter. However, Unicode’s president, Mark Davis, confirmed the move. He also said that while the rifle set will not be available as an emojis, they will still be available as normal black & white symbols.