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Apple reportedly disarms rifle emoji movement

The technical group responsible for overseeing emoji votes unanimously to remove the rifle from its list of new emoji candidates, reports BuzzFeed.

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TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TUPAC POINTU A picture shows emoji characters also known as emoticons on the screens of two mobile phones in Paris on August 6, 2015. Forget traditional banners and promotional videos, brands are turning to emojis to communicate with their Generation Z target audience. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images

There may already be a pistol emoji, but you won't see a rifle emoji any time soon.

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There is already a pistol emoji.

Unicode

The Unicode Consortium, the technical group responsible for overseeing emoji, unanimously voted to remove the rifle from its list of new emoji candidates in 2016, BuzzFeed reported on Friday. Unicode President Mark Davis confirmed the move to the publication.

Apple, a member of the consortium along with tech giants like Google, Facebook and Microsoft, led the charge to remove the rifle emjoi, said BuzzFeed. The iPhone maker reportedly started the discussion and said it would not support a rifle emoji on its platforms.

No reason was given for the decision. But it comes amid renewed debate in the US over gun control in the wake of a Florida shooting that left 49 people dead. The shooter, who claimed an allegiance to the Islamic State, reportedly purchased his weapons legally.

Apple and the Unicode Consortium did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Unicode 9.0, which is set to be release later this month, will add 72 new emoji. The rifle emoji was a candidate as part of a set of Olympics-themed emojis. Fencer, water polo and boxing glove all made the emoji cut.