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Indiana Legislature Votes On State Firearm

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 12, 2012 7:40PM

The 200-year-old Grouseland Rifle is a Mitch Daniels signature away from being the official state firearm of Indiana.
In yet another sign of state governments taking care of the pressing issues of their residents, the Indiana House voted 78-2 to name the Grouseland Rifle—a 200-year-old antique rifle—as the state's official firearm.

Why the Grouseland? (We won't ask why even have a state firearm.) Indiana State Sen. John Waterman (R-Shelburne) said it's an integral part of the state's history. John Small, a tavern owner, militia member and the first sheriff of the territory that eventually became the Hoosier state, was also a gunsmith. Small built the first Grouseland between 1803 and 1812. It has a 61.5 inch barrel, with pierced silver and brass inlays and a medallion of the United States seal and the angel Gabriel engraved on the brass patch box. It may have started out as a flintrock and later converted to a percussion rifle, meaning the Grouseland may have originally been a musket. The provision naming the Grouseland was inserted via a state senate amendment, and the public never had a notice or opportunity to testify on this.

Indiana now becomes the third state in the nation to designate an official firearm. Last March, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law a bill naming the Browning Model M1911 automatic pistol as that state's official firearm. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill into law last May naming the Colt single-action Army Revolver as its official firearm.