Rifle emoji removed from latest Unicode update

Hunting rifles - modern rifles and modern shotgun isolated on white background

Photo via RaidenV/Getty (Licensed)

Apple's influence led the charge.

Unicode 9.0 will be released on June 21 and feature a slew of Olympic-themed emoji to celebrate the upcoming summer games in Rio. Two controversial characters didn't make the cut, however.

Despite the involvement of weaponry in such sports as shooting and pentathlons, Unicode has decided to remove the rifle emoji from its latest update. The emoji depicting a man shooting a gun to complete Unicode's suite of pentathlon images was similarly rejected.

According to BuzzFeed, the decision came about due to pressure from Apple, one of many major companies to have a stakes in the consortium itself as well as voting rights. An anonymous source stated that Microsoft also voiced concerns about the rifle emoji and that there was little to no pushback about Unicode's decision.

By all accounts, there was very little conflict involved in finalizing Unicode 9.0. In fact, the decision to pull the rifle was unanimous. Due to the political implications of such an action, gun rights advocates are having less of an easy time accepting the rifle's rejection. Gun control advocates appear to be similarly frustrated.

Though the rifle and the pentathlon shooting emoji will not be making an appearance on your smartphone's emoji keyboard, there are still other weaponry-based emoji that will continue to be available. The pistol, bomb, knife, dagger, and archery set show no signs of leaving.

H/T BuzzFeed

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