Apple swaps revolver emoji for water pistol

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Apple replaces its gun with a water pistol in latest emoji update

Apple is swapping its emoji of a revolver for a brightly coloured water pistol in what appears to be a show of opposition to gun violence.

The technology giant's move to swap the deadly weapon for a harmless toy comes in the wake of continuing firearm deaths in the US, including the killing of a black man during a traffic stop by police and attacks against officers at a protest in Dallas.

Apple will replace the gun on the next version of its iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 10, which is due to be released in September.

Apple swaps gun Emoji for water pistol
Apple has also released 100 new emoji icons, including a rainbow flag symbolising LGBT culture.

The swap was announced as Apple released 100 new emoji icons, including a rainbow flag, single-parent families, and female athletes, police officers and construction workers.

"Apple is working closely with the Unicode Consortium to ensure that popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere," said the company in a statement.

Apple swaps gun Emoji for water pistol
Male and female single-parent families are also included in the updated list.

Last year, a group called New Yorkers Against Gun Violence began campaigning for Apple to get rid of its pistol emoji. It launched a site named Disarm the iPhone and sent an open letter to remove the firearm emoji "as a symbolic gesture to limit gun accessibility".

Apple swaps gun Emoji for water pistol
Emojis of female athletes, police officers and construction workers will also be available from September.

"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," a representative for the charity told CNN upon the release.

This isn't the first time the company has tackled violent emojis. Earlier this year it successfully argued against the addition of a rifle emoji.

Apple swaps gun Emoji for water pistol
Apple said that is working closely with the Unicode Consortium to ensure emoji's "reflect the diversity of people everywhere."

The company's iOS 10 is expected in September, along with the iPhone 7. Apple's most recent smartphone was a smaller iPhone SE, almost identical in shape and size to the older 5s model but with the same capabilities as the iPhone 6s.