AUSTIN, Tx. – During a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin this weekend, Texas governor Greg Abbott unveiled The Lone Star State’s official rifle, an American-made FGM-148 Javelin Portable Anti-Tank Missile. “This rifle symbolizes American ingenuity and superiority,” declared Gov. Abbott as two service members from the Texas Army National Guard removed the weapon from its polymer case and prominently displayed it at the governor’s feet.
Critics and gun-control advocates alike say the Javelin Portable Anti-Tank Missile is not a rifle at all but “a dangerous anti-aircraft weapon designed to destroy armored vehicles, helicopters, and buildings.” However, according to the NRA’s Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, “The Javelin, by definition, meets all the characteristics of a rifle. It’s a shoulder-fired weapon that fires a single projectile.”
Just because the ‘single projectile’ happens to be a 127-millimeter high explosive warhead with an automatic self-guidance system, proponents say the Javelin, like other large-bore rifles in its class, is prone to unfair discrimination. “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” explained Gov. Abbott. “Especially our guns.” The governor boasted that he personally owns two Javelin Portable Anti-Tank Missile rifles. “I mostly use ’em for hunting boar,” he added with a chuckle.
With an MSRP of $246,000, the Javelin Portable Anti-Tank Missile rifle is primarily geared toward advanced shooters. “It’s not a great beginner rifle, partly due to the price tag,” said Robert Henderson, a contributing writer for American Hunter magazine. “But if you can afford it and you have a good amount of land, it’s a helluva lot of fun to shoot.”
Texas is the second state to declare an ‘official rifle’ this week. On Wednesday, February 28th, the Barrett M82 .50 caliber anti-materiel rifle became the Official Rifle of Tennessee. Designed for use against unarmored and lightly armored military vehicles, the semi-automatic M82 is a favorite among Tennesseans who enjoy vaporizing rabbits and other small game.