The National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization that promotes firearm ownership, safety and self-defense in the United States, has launched an app for iOS devices that allows users to reenact practicing in a shooting range.
The app’s description says it is “the NRA’s new mobile nerve center”, offering “one-touch access to the NRA network of news, laws, facts, knowledge, safety tips, educational materials and online resources.”
While these can be found from the main menu, they merely act as links to various sections of the NRA’s website, immediately opening the browser and making the rest of the app feel a bit redundant. Instead, the focus of the app is arguably on the shooting mini-game itself, which offers three subtly different gameplay modes; Indoor Range, Outdoor Range and Skeet Shoot.
The app does, however, attempt to educate users with a number of gun safety tips and facts that are spliced in-between the app’s loading screens. One example we were given said: “Gun Safety Tip #9: Store guns so that they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.”
Another read: “Gun Safety Tip #8, Never use alcohol or drugs before or while shooting,” followed by “Fact #2: NRA programs train over 750,000 gun owners each year.”
For the Indoor Range, users are given an M9 handgun from the outset, although a Beretta, Browning and Colt can also be unlocked via in-app purchases worth $0.99 a pop.
Users then have a minute to shoot as many of the targets as possible, which appear in the range at various distances and times. Aiming can be controlled using the gyroscope that is built into the iPhone or iPad – similar to the viewing modes used by the Nintendo Wii U’s GamePad. There is, however, also an option to use an on-screen analogue stick and trigger button for those who favor a traditional controller setup.
At the end of the round, users are then given a score based on their accuracy, the number of targets they’ve hit and conversely the number of bullets that missed altogether. The Outdoor Range mode, meanwhile, has users handling larger firearms such as an M16, AK47, AWM, Dragunov SVD and MK11. As with the Indoor Range and Skeet Mode, additional weapons are unlocked only through in-app purchases.
The app’s launch follows the Connecticut school shooting last month and Obama’s investigation into gun control, which the President is expected to talk about and present related proposals for in the coming weeks.
As The Appside so eloquently put it: “Is now the best time for a National Rifle Association (NRA) 3D shooting game? We’d suggest not.”
Image Credit: ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images
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