NRA game Practice Range iPhone app criticised

Chris Parsons
Target: The game allows players to shoot at coffin-shaped targets

The U.S. National Rifle Association has been branded 'insensitive' for releasing a target range iPhone and iPad game, just a month on from the Newtown school shooting massacre.

The NRA's newly-developed game, called 'Practice Range', simulates shooting and has been approved for children as young as four.

The NRA say the game 'strikes the right balance between gaming and education' but critics have slammed the app and demanded it be retracted immediately.

The app was released almost one month to the day of the December 14 mass shooting at the elementary school, in which 28 people were murdered,

including 20 children under the age of eight.

On Apple's App Store, a listing specifically states that the game can be played by users aged four and up.

Critics have further accused the NRA of hypocrisy, as, in the wake of the Newtown shooting, CEO Wayne La Pierre blamed the Sandy Hook shooting on "the callous, corrupt, and corrupting shadow industry... of vicious, violent video games".

Practice Range allows players to take aim at coffin-shaped targets and has a choice of nine weapons.

Some of the firearms can be upgraded and players can also use the same guin Adam Lanza used in the Sandy Hook shootings.

US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to make recommendations on America's gun laws to the White House this week.

President Obama will also announce plans for tackling gun violence soon.

The NRA game has since received heavy criticism for its release so soon after the Newtown shootings.

New York City COuncil speaker Christine Quinn told the New York Daily News: "One week after the Newtown massacre, the NRA blamed the media for causing gun violence, now they add more salt to wounds of victims with an app designed for children.

"This is more evidence that the NRA does not care about protecting our children.

"I cannot comprehend their insensitivity, if they had any decency they would retract this app immediately."

The NRA has yet to comment on the response to the game.

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