Apple is Getting Rid of One of Its Most Popular Emojis, But for a Good Reason

Your old texts are going to look a lot different soon.

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Get ready for your emoji keyboard to look a little different. Starting in September, Apple will be replacing the gun emoji with a green water pistol, CNNMoney (opens in new tab) reports. Microsoft has already replaced their pistol with a toy gun, but Google, Samsung, Facebook, and Twitter still have gun emojis.

Apple's decision comes after New Yorkers Against Gun Violence started a campaign called "Disarm the iPhone," demanding Apple nix the pistol emoji as a symbol of standing up against gun violence, and to "show America wants stricter access to real guns."

"Apple has stood up to the bullying tactics of the NRA and gun industry by showing that there are many more life-affirming ways to express oneself than with a gun," Leah Barrett, executive director of the group, told CNN.

Back in June, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft moved to stop a rifle emoji from being added to smartphones. According to BuzzFeed (opens in new tab), the Unicode Consortium, the group that regulates emojis, had proposed the rifle to coincide with the Olympics, since shooting is an Olympic sport. But critics say (opens in new tab) this most recent move — outright replacing an old emoji with a different one — could retroactively change the meaning of old text messages and emails, which could be confusing for users.

The change also comes with the addition of many more gender-diverse emojis (opens in new tab), like women working out and men getting their hair cut. If you use an Android phone (opens in new tab), those emojis will also hit your phone soon, too.

Megan Friedman
Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.