In Tennessee, they have an official wild animal – the raccoon. They also have a state bird – the mockingbird, and an official state tree, the tulip poplar. But, if State Representative Micah Van Huss, a republican legislator from Jonesboro, Tennessee has his druthers, they will soon add a state gun, the Barrett Model 82A1 rifle.
Several other states have official guns. Arizona has the Colt single action revolver, also known as the ‘Gun that Won the West.’ John Browning’s native state, Utah, declared the M1911 as its official gun in 2011. Is it time for Volunteer state to make a claim to its own?
Both Tennessee and Van Huss have a real connection to the Barrett Model 82A1. In 1982, Ronnie Barrett, a photographer and Murfreesboro, TN native, sketched designs for the gun that he wanted to see become commercially available. The Department of Defense already had a .50 caliber in use in the armed services, but Barrett dreamed of this being available outside the uniformed services.
After enlisting the services of a machinist, manufacturing of the rifle in a middle Tennessee one bay garage. The rifle caught on quick in the civilian gun markets after advertising in gun magazines spread the word. Barrett’s operations soon became much more sophisticated and was his company contracted with the DOD to produce weapons for use with soldiers, sailors, and marines.
According to the Johnson City Press (TN), “(Rep) Van Huss, now in his second term in the House, is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served as a sniper during his two tours in Iraq. In two additional deployments to Afghanistan, he served as a contractor to train members of the Afghan National Army.”
The Barrett Model 82A1 is expensive and retails for around $11,000 (more expensive that the TN official tree, the tulip poplar that retails for $49.95). According to the Barrett Firearms website, the “With its low felt recoil and self-loading action, the Model 82A1 offers rapid, accurate firepower that never slows down.” Though the rifle is transported in two sections, it can be set up by a proficient operator in less than a minute.
See specifications, configurations, and find a Barrett dealer near you at the manufacturer’s website.
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