NRA-branded shooting app faces backlash

In addition to in-app links for “Gun Safety,” “NRA News,” “Hunting Season,” “Guns Laws,” and “Legislation,” the app features “immersive” firing ranges.

There are three virtual firing ranges: “Indoor Range,” “Outdoor Range,” and “Skeet Shoot.” 

Though it went unnoticed for a few days, the app is now being criticized. 

The Courage Campaign, a progressive “online organizing network" began a petition urging Apple CEO Tim Cook to drop it from the app store. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the app’s release “the height of hypocrisy.” 

NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre had previously blamed several elements of American society for mass shootings, including video games. 

Sen. Chris MurphyChris MurphySenators eye new sanctions against Iran For Trump and Russia, the fall of Michael Flynn is only the beginning Overnight Finance: Trump's Labor pick withdraws | Ryan tries to save tax plan | Trump pushes tax reform with retailers MORE (D-Conn.) said the NRA was “intent on continuing to insult the families of the victims of Sandy Hook.”

“Not only does the release of this app demonstrate extremely poor taste and timing, it is deeply troubling that it is rated acceptable for children age four years and older,” Murphy said in a press release.

Apple’s app store has several age ratings to help purchasers determine if the content of an app is appropriate for children. Murphy was referencing the 4+ rating, which is given to apps that “contain no objectionable material,” according to the app store. 

The app is now listed with a 12+ rating for “Frequent/Intense Realistic Violence.” The game does not allow players to shoot at any living object.

Each of the app's virtual firing ranges has three levels of difficulty (“Shakey,” “Hot Shot” and “Dead Eye”) and one available firearm (a Beretta M9 pistol, an M-16 rifle, and a Mossberg 500 shotgun, respectively). Other weapons can be unlocked through an in-app purchase of $0.99 each.