The National Rifle Association has launched NRA: Practice Range, an iOS app the organization calls its new “mobile nerve center.” The app features a 3-D target practice shooting game and provides resources for news and legislation updates around gun control and educational materials about gunholders’ rights.
The NRA appears to be emphasizing safety and responsible ownership with this new app, which has an Apple App Store rating of 4+ (“no objectionable material”). The NRA says its built-in shooting game strikes “the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible.” That authenticity also extends to the 9 real-life firearm models available within the app–including an M9 pistol, an M16 rifle, and a Dragunov SVD semi-automatic rifle– as well as the AK47 and the AWM sniper rifle, which are offered as $0.99 in-app purchases.
In recent weeks the NRA has been the focus of increased media scrutiny, particularly after a December school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left 27 dead and sparked a call for more stringent legislation around gun control. The day after the Newtown school shooting, the NRA suspended its Facebook page.
In the wake of record-level gun sales, the NRA now seems to be trying to position itself as a resource for safe and responsible gun owners. Even for the pre-school set.
So what do you think–would you let your 4-year-old play the NRA’s shooting game?