An official state Air Force - COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE (formerly known as the CONFEDERATE AIR FORCE)But one thing we don't have is an official state firearm. There are seven states that do. The most recent one to join the 'official gun club' is Tennessee, and they did so in a big way.
Amphibian - TEXAS TOAD
Bird - MOCKINGBIRD
Cooking Implement - CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN
Dish - CHILI
Domino Game - 42
Flower - BLUEBONNET
Footwear - COWBOY BOOT (what else?)
Hat - COWBOY HAT (again, what else?)
Mammal, both Large (LONGHORN) and Small (ARMADILLO)
Reptile - TEXAS HORNED LIZARD (aka Horny Toad)
and last, but not least, Vehicle - CHUCK WAGON
Tennessee now has an official gun, but you'd just be firing blanks if you think it's Davy Crockett's "Old Betsy" flintlock or the M1917 Enfield rifle famously used by Sgt. Alvin York during World War I.
Instead, the state Senate gave final approval and made a modern-day Tennessee-manufactured rifle, now used by U.S. military snipers, its official rifle.
Senators voted 27-1 for House Joint Resolution 231. It designates the Barrett Model M82/M107, a recoil-operated, .50-caliber, semi-automatic rifle developed by Tennessee native Ronnie Barrett as the Volunteer State's official rifle.
|Barrett .50 Caliber Rifle|
Barrett, these days a board member of the National Rifle Association and known for hosting lawmakers en masse for shooting events, was just 27 when he invented and crafted the rifle.
The weapon is manufactured in Christiana, which is near Murfreesboro.
Adopted by the U.S. military in the 1980s, the Model M82/M107 has seen considerable action in U.S. forays into the Middle East. In fact, a former Marine sniper who used the weapon during his deployments, Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Gray, introduced the resolution.
And now the rifle joins the ranks of other Tennessee symbols and officially recognized items, including the Tennessee echinacea (coneflower), the state agricultural insect (honeybee), nine state songs and Hugh X, the "state poet laureate of Christian country music in Tennessee."
Tennessee appears to have become the seventh state to adopt some type of firearm as an official symbol. All were adopted since 2010. But all the firearms adopted by other states are of older vintage than Tennessee's.
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For example, Pennsylvania adopted the "long rifle" as its official gun. Indiana adopted the "Grouseland rifle" as its official rifle. The early 19th century gun is housed at Grouseland, home of President William Henry Harrison.There is a Tennessee-Texas connection.
... maybe lawmakers could still honor rifles owned by Davy Crockett, a former Tennessee legislator and congressman, including "Old Betsy," a .40-caliber flintlock.I'm sure the liberals in Tennessee are having conniption fits at the thought of an EBR gaining official status as a state symbol.
According to True West Magazine, the rifle was given to the legendary politician and frontiersman by his Lawrence County constituents. While Crockett didn't take the gun with him to his historic and fatal trip to Texas, the rifle nonetheless resides at the Alamo Museum in San Antonio.