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 is owner of the Christiana, Tenn.-based Barrett Firearms Manufacturing Co.
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.