NRA releases shooting game for users aged four and above

Jan 15, 2013

Pro-gun lobbyists called ‘hypocritical’ after blaming video games for Sandy Hook school massacre

THE National Rifle Association, which made a point of criticising violent video games in the wake of the Sandy Hook school massacre, has released a free first person shooter game for anyone aged four and over.

The app, NRA: Practice Range, is available from the iTunes store and allows users to shoot at coffin-shaped targets.

It is described as a "3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations". The NRA claims: "It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible."

The launch of the game has been called "hypocritical" by the American liberal blog Think Progress which pointed out the powerful pro-gun lobby’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre blamed violent games along with films and violent music videos after Adam Lanza’s gun rampage at Sandy Hook elementary school in December.

Think Progress also points out that the gun industry itself has ties to video game producers: weapons manufacturers sign contracts allowing gaming companies to use firearm brand names in video games as a method of product promotion.

The NRA release comes shortly before Vice President Joe Biden is expected to make recommendations on gun control to the White House, the BBC notes.

Appside, which reviews apps, asked: "Is now the best time for a National Rifle Association (NRA) 3D shooting game? We'd suggest not." Appside complains that users of the app can pay 99 cents to unlock and MK11 sniper rifle. Critics of the NRA will doubtless "bridle" at this.

Many on Twitter said the timing and tone of the app was inappropriate, with one user asking "How low will they go?" and another suggesting it was another reason "to loathe the NRA".

Sign up for our daily newsletter