If you're a state legislator in Utah, you're in luck! This year's commemorative weapon is the ultra-cool killing machine known as the AR-15, loaded with customization just for special Utah electeds who make sure to protect gun manufacturers and their perks.
For the fifth anniversary of the commemorative legislative firearm, lawmakers decided to go bigger and flashier.
This year, lawmakers are lining up to order a special edition AR-15, manufactured by Tegra Arms in Orem, a semi-automatic rifle similar to the M16 used by the military.
"My wife was scared of it when she first saw it," said Rep. Gage Froerer, R-Huntsville, who has bought the commemorative guns in the past and has ordered the AR-15 this year.
"It's a big departure. I don't know if I'll ever shoot it. I'm not really an avid hunter anymore," he said. For him, it's more a momento of his involvement in the legislative process.
The fifth anniversary of the gun commemorating legislators protecting gun manufacturers. Let that one sink in for a minute.
This year's version is bigger, badder, and sexier than last year's, and they're all lining up to get one.
The carbon fiber weapon is surprisingly lightweight, covered in a white Cerakote finish with a gray beehive pattern. The state motto, "Industry," is emblazoned on the side with a beehive. On the stock is etched a honeybee, the state insect, and the phrase "Vox Populi," the Latin phrase for "Voice of the People," which is the motto of the Utah House.
Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, a lieutenant in the Utah Highway Patrol, said he's glad they chose a rifle for the commemorative weapon this year.
"I'm not a big handgun fan but I love rifles," he said. "This AR is the most beautiful gun ever."
The AR-15 fires a bullet that is about a quarter-inch in diameter and travels about 3,000 feet per second. It's typically used for target shooting, hunting small to mid-size animals and for home defense.
It typically is fired with a 30-round magazine, although bigger and smaller magazines are available. Custom sights, stocks and other add-ons essentially just clip on.
Legislators are paying $650 for the rifle, although add-on packages run as much as $1,550. A limited series of 250 are available to the public for $750, $100 of which will go to the Gun Safety Alliance for children's gun safety education.
Oh, well then. Some bucks to charity in exchange for letting an assault weapon into the public domain. What the hell, right?
Here's the punch line, folks. It's just...SWAG!
"If the bulk of my legislators carry an AR-15, you can bet we're going to get pretty darn good gun laws," said Jeremy Roberts, who is coordinating the firearm for the session.
There ya go. What's a custom AR-15 worth legislatively?