Gun Emoji Update Now Live on Android

In a stunning U-turn, Google have backtracked on previous statements and have replaced their gun emoji with a harmless water pistol.
A comparison of the old gun emoji and the new updated sprite
A newly released Android update has changed the Gun emoji sprite into a harmless toy water pistol.

This follows a recent update by social media site Twitter, who recently swapped their own pistol emoji for a green water pistol.

History of the Gun Emoji

The catalyst for the change can be traced back to April 2016, when American tech giants Apple set the trend by changing the previous gun design to the innocent toy gun symbol, a change that was criticized at the time.

The recent change contradicts with Google’s statement in November 2016, a statement that read: ‘“We believe in the cross-platform communication so we are maintaining our gun’.

However, since the launch of that statement, many vendors have fallen in line with Apple including Samsung, Whatsapp and previously mentioned Twitter. These three platforms are used by millions worldwide; it’s estimated that Whatsapp alone has over 500,000,000 active users and Twitter over 300,000,000.

How to get back the Gun Emoji

Other major platforms like Microsoft and Facebook still retain the classic emoji design which looks like a revolver handgun. But it is assumed that these will change in the near future for the purposes of cross platform messaging.

Many users are wondering how to revert the change to get the classic gun emoji back - unfortunately, there seems to be no current way to rewind the change.

The gun has been one of the most controversial emoji symbols and has been hotly contested in light of recent mass American shootings. In 2016, Unicode backtracked on a plan to introduce a rifle emoji after strong opposition from Apple and Microsoft.

In the very same year, a French man was sentenced to three months in prison for sending an ex the pistol emoji; the contents of the message and the emoji constituting a death threat as judged by the court.

And in 2015, two separate cases involving juveniles and the gun emoji caused major headlines and and uproars across America. 
Aaron Braund 25 Jun 2018

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