It couldn't have been timed worse. On Monday, Jan. 14, app developer MEDL Mobile released a National Rifle Association approved and branded app, NRA: Practice Range. Jan. 14, for those who have been asleep for a month, was the one-month anniversary of the horrific Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
To be fair, the app isn't a first-person shooter of the type that the NRA harangued as being more responsible for Sandy Hook than the actual gun used in the massacre of 20 children and six adults (seven if you include shooter Adam Lanza's mother, shot elsewhere). Instead, the app includes safety tips and education (slanted, of course, toward the Second Amendment means everyone can own an RPG stance of the NRA). However, it does have a 3D shooting portion.
That being said, surely this app could have been held back another month or so. Note to those who want to make the NRA blameless for this app: The app has the line "Official NRA Licensed Product" as part of its description.
When an app is approved, app developers have the option of when to make it visible in the App Store. The developers of the app, MEDL Mobile, could have waited for a more opportune time than the exact anniversary date of the Newtown massacre.
Here is how the shooting portion is described:
NRA: Practice Range also offers a 3D shooting game that instills safe and responsible ownership through fun challenges and realistic simulations. It strikes the right balance of gaming and safety education, allowing you to enjoy the most authentic experience possible.
✔ 9 true-to-life firearms
✔ 3 immersive shooting ranges
✔ 3 distinct difficult levels
✔ Analog & Gyroscope game controls
✔ Game Center integration
The app is free, but has a number of in-app purchases, all priced at $0.99. Those in-app purchases unlock other weapons, including the Dragunov SVD, which is a semi-automatic sniper rifle and the MK11 Sniper Weapon System used by the Navy Seals.