Indiana soon will have an official state rifle to go along with the state tree, state stone and state flower.
The Indiana House voted 78-2 on Tuesday to declare the Grouseland the state's official rifle. It is one of only six remaining long rifles made by famed Hoosier gunsmith John Small in the early 1800s.
The measure, earlier approved 48-2 by the Senate and headed to Gov. Mitch Daniels, makes Indiana only the third state with an official gun. Utah became the first in March 2011, when it honored the Browning M1911 automatic pistol, followed in April by Arizona, which chose the Colt Army revolver.
Sen. John Waterman, R-Shelburn, said he decided to pursue honoring the Grouseland Rifle, which is in President William Henry Harrison's Vincennes home, Grouseland, after hearing a few years ago that Pennsylvania was considering naming the long rifle its official gun.
Kind of appropriate, since Indiana has some of the laxest gun laws in the nation, earning the stern disapproval of former Fort Wayne mayor and current anti-gun nut Paul Helmke. Good thing we got in ahead of Pennsylvania on the Grouseland, and eat our dust, Texas! (As of 2004, by the way, among "shall issue" states, Indiana had the second-highest percentage of adults with concealed-carry permits at 6.79 percent.)