Flowers, cheese, birds… and a gun? Wisconsin Republicans pass legislation creating an official state gun

MADISON — Wisconsin would become the 10th state in the United States to designate an official state firearm under a new Republican bill and have an official state symbol alongside flowers, cheese and birds.

Under the bill, the Wisconsin-made Henry All-Weather .45-70 would be designated the state’s official rifle. Henry Repeating ArmsManufacturer of the gun, is headquartered in Wisconsin in Rice Lake.

The authors of the bill state that Reps. Dave Armstrong, Treig Pronschinske and James Edming and Sen. Romaine Quinn said the move would honor the popular pastime of hunting and a Wisconsin manufacturer.

“Hunting is one of Wisconsin’s most revered pastimes and a major driver of the economy, particularly in our rural areas,” lawmakers wrote in a memo to colleagues seeking co-sponsorships.

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Will the law?

However, it is unlikely to be signed by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who has been trying to get it signed Measures to curb gun violence and vetoed legislation that would expand the number of locations where Wisconsin residents are allowed to carry firearms.

If the bill were enacted, Wisconsin would have an official state gun with Alaska, Arizona, Utah, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Texas, according to the National Rifle Association.

What are the Democrats saying?

Sen. Kelda Roys, D-Madison, said she would rather have an “official gun violence policy.”

“It shows the deeply shady approach Republicans have to gun safety issues,” Roys said. “There are many bipartisan things that can and should be done as Republicans and Democrats work together to reduce gun deaths and accidental unintentional gun violence, and yet Republicans here in Wisconsin are unwilling to do any of those things.”

What are other state symbols?

Other state symbols include the badger, forest violet, robin, and cranberry as the state’s official animal, flower, bird, and fruit. There are 26 symbols in total.

Molly Beck can be reached at

A rack of gun barrels awaits assembly Thursday, November 17, 2016 at Henry Repeating Arms in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Headquartered in Bayonne, NJ, Henry Repeating Arms dates back to the 1860’s when Benjamin Tyler Henry invented and patented a bolt action rifle during the Civil War.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wisconsin Republicans publish bill creating an official state gun

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