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Here’s the emoji Apple blocked on your iPhone

In the US, it’s easy enough to bag yourself a firearm. But getting your hands on a rifle emoji? Don’t count on it.

Apple and Microsoft helped blockade proposals for a “rifle” emoji, according to a new Buzzfeed report. Apparently, Unicode – the firm that oversees new emoji – debated the proposed gun glyph, and decided against it, following heavy opposition from tech companies.

According to the report, Apple told the Unicode consortium that it wouldn’t support a rifle emoji, with one source saying: “I heard Apple speak up about it, and also Microsoft.” Apple is one of the biggest member companies within Unicode, and has both influence and voting rights.

rifleUnicode’s proposed ‘rifle’ emoji

The rifle emoji, and another emoji depicting a man firing a pistol, had already “passed into the encoding process” for this month’s new Unicode 9.0 release, but were dropped at the last minute. Unicode President Mark Davis told Buzzfeed: “The committee decided not to mark them as emoji, but to add them as characters (that is, normal black & white symbols.”

rifleAnother proposed emoji of a man firing a pistol was also blocked

The rifle was intended to be part of a set of Olympics-themed emoji, as shooting rifles is one of the competition’s sports. There were three versions, one of which had a scope, with use cases described by Unicode as “marksmanship”, “sport shooting”, and “hunting”.

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Do you think there should be a rifle emoji? Tell us why (or why not) in the comments below.