CUPERTINO, CA—Reaffirming the company’s commitment to responsible texting, Apple announced plans Wednesday to bring back the pistol emoji for users who complete a gun emoji safety course.
“iPhone users who are 18 years or older may be eligible to text a digital pistol contingent on completing a six-week course taught by a trained gun emoji safety instructor,” said Apple spokesperson Jared Boucher, adding that the company removed the pistol and replaced it with a squirt gun in 2016 following outcry that the electronic firearms had made their way into schools. “The course covers the fundamentals of using the pistol emoji as well as state and local texting laws. We also require a background check and a three-day wait period to ensure these emojis don’t fall into the wrong hands. As an added security measure, each digital weapon has a registered serial number that can be traced back to the owner.”
At press time, critics were calling for tighter emoji controls after a 23-year-old man sent the pistol to his entire family before texting it to nearly a dozen random strangers.