The search giant has replaced the pistol emoji with one of a water gun in its latest emoji update for Android, reports Emojipedia. The move follows the trend started by Apple in 2016 and in subsequent years adopted by Samsung and Twitter. Facebook, too, has confirmed that the pistol emoji is being replaced with a water gun emoji on all its platforms. Awkwardly, this leaves Microsoft as the only other major vendor to still offer a gun emoji. Ironically, Microsoft’s gun emoji started off as a cartoonish ray gun before being changed to a pistol in 2016. When contacted by Emojipedia, Microsoft declined to comment about its future plans for the controversial emoji.
In 2016, design writer John Brownlee wrote a defense of the gun emoji in Co.Design.