NRA Practice Range mobile app allows user to shoot pretend gun
5:38 PM, Jan 15, 2013
8:47 PM, Jan 15, 2013
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - With anticipation of President Barack Obama's announcement about executive orders for gun control, the National Rifle Association has released a mobile app that allows the user pretend they are shooting a weapon.
The NRA ties the app to gun safety.
The free app can be downloaded to a tablet or cell phone, and the user moves the device to aim their weapon. It was released exactly one month after the Sandy Hook massacre.
In the app, called "NRA Practice Range," the user cannot shoot people and there is no blood. There are targets at three different virtual shooting ranges. It is listed for use by children as young as four.
"It's an aggressive move, absolutely, it's gotten a lot of media coverage," said public relations strategist Rachel Kay.
Kay says the app is a big risk for the NRA.
Less than one month ago, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre responded to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, saying some video games sell violence.
"With this app, they kind of run the risk of sending conflicting messages," Kay said.
The app offers gun safety tips and information about gun laws and Second Amendment rights, linking users to the NRA website.
The app is free, but charges 99 cents to upgrade to a larger weapon.
Kay suggests while the timing is questionable, the NRA may be playing to supporters.
"Those who oppose any common-sense gun control or gun safety measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear on the part of gun owners and somehow the federal government's about to take all your guns away," she said.