Pistol Emoji becomes Water Gun Emoji in latest Twemoji Update

Twemoji 2.6 also makes other changes to sprites
Twitter have updated Twemoji to 2.6 and have changed the sprite for their pistol emoji, replacing it with a green water pistol.

The update saw several other symbols receive sprite updates including the knife and magnifying glass.

It is thought that this change is in response to recent mass shootings in America and the symbol now falls in line with other platforms.

This follows a trend started by Apple in 2016 when the California based tech company swapped their gun emoji for a bright green water pistol. Other organisations to follow the trend include Whatsapp and Samsung.

In the very same year, the Unicode Consortium shelved plans to add a rifle emoji after backlash from Microsoft and Apple. 

Not all platforms have been so receptive of changing the pistol symbol however. Most notably Google, who in November 2016 stated that due to cross platform communication - that they would be keeping the gun on versions of Android. Microsoft shared the same sentiment.

With more platforms starting to become uniform however, it is thought that Google and other vendors and organisations will fall in line.

The pistol emoji is one of the most controversial of all the emoji symbols. In 2016, a 22 year old French man was sentenced to three months in prison for sending his ex a message with the symbol, the court agreeing that the message and symbol constituted a death threat. 

In 2015, there were two cases of juveniles receiving fines and police attention after using the gun symbol in messages. The first case involved a 12 year old child using the pistol emoji on an instagram post. And in the second instance, a teenage was arrested for tweeting the symbol and allegedly threatening officers.
Aaron Braund 25 Jun 2018

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