NRA denies licensing a JFK commemorative rifle
A Colorado company, American Legacy Firearms is selling a limited edition “Dallas Heritage Rifle,” engraved with a picture of the Kennedy Memorial in Dallas, according to Dallas TV station WFAA.
A red, white and blue NRA sticker on a flier for the fully functional Mossberg .30-30 rifle describes the firearm as an “official NRA licensed product.”
But Jacqueline Otto, of NRA public affairs, said via email that the JFK commemorative rifle “is not an NRA licensed product.”
Licensing is a big business for the gun group. In 2011, the NRA took in $122 million in “program service income,” more than double the $59 million it received in grants and contributions, according to an IRS filing.
President Kennedy was killed by rifle fire on November 22, 1963, as his motorcade passed through downtown Dallas. This November will mark the 50th anniversary of the crime whose causes remain in dispute.
A WFAA reader survey is finding that 54 percent or respondent agree the JFK memorial rifle is inappropriate. Another 46 percent of respondents think it is not inappropriate.
Stephen Hunter, gun expert and author of “The Third Bullet,”a fictional thriller about JFK’s assassination, says, commemorative guns “are a species of firearm kitsch which appeals to some people. I am not one of them. I find it somewhat grotesque but hardly offensive. It’s really just silly.”
For gun fans, says Hunter, “the associations with the lever action .30-30 are quite positive and patriotic, because of the iconographic usage in western movies and the long hunting heritage.”
As a practical matter, he said the Mossberg is “slow moving and old fashioned,” more ubiquitous in cowboy movies than in real life.
The official story is the JFK was killed on November 22, 1963, by a gunshot from Mannlicher-Carcano, a cheap and relatively inaccurate firearm, a hypothesis Hunter finds implausible.
In “The Third Bullet,” Hunter suggests that Kennedy was killed by a shot from a .264 Winchester Magnum, a more powerful and accurate weapon than either the .30-30, or the Mannlicher-Carcano.
“Stephen Hunter goes ballistic. ‘The Third Bullet’ rethinks the JFK story,” (JFK Facts, April 17 2013)