NRA’s “Practice Range” app raises gun foes’ ire

Gun-control advocates are hopping mad about the National Rifle Association’s new “Practice Range” target-shooting app now on sale in Apple’s iTunes store.

The free app became available this weekend, a month after the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre renewed the national debate on gun control and gun violence – and after NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre blamed violent video games as helping to create a culture of violence that’s to blame for such events.

The Courage Campaign, one of many liberal groups decrying the app, has started an online petition urging Apple CEO Tim Cook to dump the app from the store.

“This is a classic example of everything that is wrong with the NRA. Instead of coming to the table with constructive ideas to reduce gun violence, the NRA is instead developing a video game that glorifies guns and gun violence,” Courage Campaign online programs director Adam Bink said in a news release. “It is yet another shameful example, in a long list of shameful examples, of the destructive role the NRA plays in reducing gun violence and making our schools, communities and streets safer. We are calling on Apple to reject this app. It has no business being in the hands of kids across this country.”

ABC News reports the app was released Sunday for children ages 4 and up, but its description was updated today to rate it for ages 12 and up.

I’ve downloaded the app to my iPhone; it appears to have indoor range, outdoor range and skeet shoot options but none in which you’re shooting at anything alive. It allows you to choose from among several different kinds of weapon, although some remain locked unless you buy the option for 99 cents.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    “I’ve downloaded the app to my iPhone; it appears to have indoor range, outdoor range and skeet shoot options but none in which you’re shooting at anything alive.”

    Doesn’t matter. Guns are evil. The NRA is evil. Good liberals hate guns and the NRA.

    End of discussion.

  • Alcoahead

    That’s not the worst app idea I’ve seen available on the App Store or Google Play — this is: And now for something COMPLETELY different…

    At least those poor boys who get their AR-15s confiscated by the gun police will still have something to do with all that time on their hands — or is it “their hands on all the time”?

  • RR senile columnist

    Gun control could change the course of history. Look at what happened to John Lennon,
    Marvin Gaye and Tupac Shakur.