Tennessee designates Barrett sniper rifle as its state rifle

A Barrett light .50-caliber sniper rifle with scope. (public domain)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee lawmakers have designated a sniper rifle made in their state and used by militaries around the world as the official state rifle.

The .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle takes its place alongside other state symbols like the tomato as Tennessee’s official fruit, the cave salamander as the state amphibian and the square dance as the state folk dance. The Murfreesboro-based manufacturer supplies firearms to law enforcement, private citizens and more than 70 militaries.

The state Senate voted 27-1 Wednesday to pass the resolution after earlier House approval.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Yarbro of Nashville cast the lone ‘no’ vote, arguing that the state shouldn’t endorse a private company. He says lawmakers wouldn’t want to choose between other Tennessee-made products like Jack Daniel’s and George Dickel as the official whiskey.

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