Apple has engaged in virtual gun control as the company decided to replace the pistol emoji with a water gun emoji in the next version of the iPhone and iPad operating system, according to CNN Money.
The gun swap is just one of the many emoji changes that Apple has planned for iOS 10 that shows the company’s effort to remain politically correct. With the new operating system, new and revamped emojis will show women doing stereotypically male jobs like detective, construction worker, and police officer. There will also be new emojis featuring female athletes, family options for single parents, and a pride flag.
The switch from the pistol emoji to the water gun emoji comes after some people created trouble for themselves using the pistol emoji.
A French court ruled using a pistol emoji could be considered a death threat when it sentenced a man to three months in prison for texting the pistol emoji to his ex-girlfriend. A 12-year-old in Virginia was charged after allegedly threatening her school by using the gun, knife, and bomb emojis in an Instagram post. A teenager in Brooklyn, N.Y. was arrested for posting a police emoji with pistol emojis pointed at his head.
An anti-gun organization called New Yorkers Against Gun Violence started a campaign last year to get Apple to remove the pistol emoji. It created a site, disarmtheiphone.com, and sent an open letter to remove the emoji “as a symbolic gesture to limit gun accessibility.”
“Apple has stood up to the bullying tactics of the NRA and gun industry by showing that there are many more life-affirming ways to express oneself than with a gun,” said Leah Barrett, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.