Michigan Lawmakers Propose AR-15 as Official State Gun

by Tommy Grant
AR-15 magazine flag

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In a move that expectedly has some anti-gunners losing their minds, a group of Michigan legislators have proposed a bill that, if approved, would make the AR-15 Michigan’s official state firearm. The move has sparked controversy, with some residents expressing concern about its potential impact on Michigan’s image. However, the move is not unprecedented, as nearly a dozen other states have official guns.

House Bill 5792 is being spearheaded by State Representative Brian BeGole and cosponsored by 11 other Michigan House Republicans. Begole has 32 years in law enforcement, including six years as the sheriff of Shiawassee County. He argues that the AR-15 is unfairly stigmatized and emphasizes that many people use the platform for hobbies such as target shooting, self-defense, and exercising their Second Amendment rights.

“More and more often, AR-15 owners are ostracized and criticized for their perfectly reasonable and legal decisions to possess a firearm. That’s just not right,” BeGole told News Channel 3 in Michigan.

However, not everyone agrees. Democratic Michigan Representative Christine Morse opposes the bill, citing the tragic context of recent mass shootings involving AR-15s. “Considering we had the mass shooting at Michigan State and Oxford in the past couple of years. To try to make a weapon like that be our state gun is really just sad for the people of Michigan and embarrassing,” said Morse.

Two state residents quoted in the News 3 report stated they are opposed to the choice, and then proceeded to show their lack of understanding of the firearms.

“It’s a killer, it’s used for the military for a certain reason to strike and kill people,” Tyron Sims, who served in the Navy, told the news station.

“Why would we even think we needed it,” said William Adams.

“AR-15, means it’s an assault rifle so it’s a military gun,” said Adams, mislabeling what “AR” stands for. Even News 3 corrected his mistake in the article saying,”It should be noted that the AR in AR-15 stands for ArmaLite Rifle, the company that developed it.”

News Channel 3 also noted that not every mass shooting involves an AR-15, but the weapon has been prominent in several high-profile incidents.

If the bill passes, Michigan would join a small group of states with official firearms, although it would be the only state to choose the AR-15 and the only one without a specific historical tie to its chosen firearm.

For example, Utah’s official gun, the classic Model 1911, was invented by Utah native John Browning. According to the NRA, the other states with official firearms include:

Arizona: Colt Single Action Army Revolver
Indiana: Grouseland Rifle
West Virginia: Hall Model 1819 Flintlock Rifle
Kentucky: Kentucky Long Rifle
Missouri: 1847 Colt Walker
Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Long Rifle
Alaska: Pre-1964 Winchester Model 70
Tennessee: Barrett M82
Texas: 1847 Colt Walker

Despite the bill’s introduction, it is unlikely to become law under Governor Whitmer, who proclaimed June 7 as Gun Violence Awareness Day, just a day after the bill was filed.

Read the full details on House Bill 5792.

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