While the Unicode organization had planned to include a rifle emoji as part of the Unicode 9.0 release later this month, but apparently thanks to some lobbying from Apple, it won't happen. The character will not be marked as emoji, nor will it appear on any standard emoji keyboard, including the updated keyboard set to be released by Apple this fall as part of iOS 10.
According to sources in the room, Apple started the discussion to remove the rifle emoji, which had already passed into the encoding process for the Unicode 9.0 release this June. Apple told the consortium it would not support a rifle on its platforms and asked for it not to be made into an emoji. "I heard Apple speak up about it and also Microsoft," one member present at the discussions told BuzzFeed News.
The rifle wasn't the only character affected by the decision. Another, a purposed "modern pentathlon" glyph, featured a man firing a pistol, was also rejected. According to the report, neither decision was contentious, and the decisions to withhold the emoji certification from these characters was said to be unanimous.
It should be noted that there is already a pistol emoji included in the standard emoji set. The Unicode 9.0 spec is scheduled for release on June 21.