GOP Rep. Barry Moore Wants AR-15 as 'National Gun of America'

Alabama Representative Barry Moore, a staunch gun-rights supporter, is proposing that the AR-15 rifle should be the "National Gun of America."

"The #SecondAmendment is as American a right as freedom of speech, religion, & the press," Moore wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening. "Today I unveiled my bill to make the AR-15 the National Gun of America. We must send a message that we will meet every attack on any of our constitutional rights."

Along with the tweet, Moore shared photos of himself speaking with a gun shop clerk. reported that the store is in Troy, Alabama.

Congressional records indicate that the bill was first introduced by Moore on Friday, but the House has not received the full text.

If Moore's proposal were to make it through both the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, the AR-15 would take its place beside some of the nation's most coveted symbols, such as the U.S. flag that was approved by Congress in 1777.

The AR-15, a popular semiautomatic rifle, is often used by "hunters, competitors, millions of Americans seeking home-defense guns and many others who simply enjoy going to the range," according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).

GOP Representative Proposes National Gun of America
A customer looks at a custom-made AR-15-style rifle at Davidson Defense in Orem, Utah, on February 4, 2021. On Tuesday, Alabama Representative Barry Moore announced a bill that would make the AR-15 the "National Gun of America." George Frey/AFP via Getty

According to a May 2022 report from Insider magazine, there are around 20 million AR-15-style weapons "in circulation" throughout the U.S. In total, American citizens own around 393 million guns, a figure exceeding the national population.

Moore's home state of Alabama also ranks eighth in the nation for gun ownership, with about 55.5 percent of Alabamans owning firearms, reports the World Population Review.

Moore has been repeatedly vocal for gun rights in America, including receiving an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association in 2020. The two-term congressman was also one of 204 Republicans who voted against a package of gun-law reforms in June 2022.

Ahead of President Joe Biden signing the gun-control bill into law later that month, Moore released a statement saying that the bipartisan legislation was being pushed by "gun grabbers" who are getting "closer to their single-minded goal of eliminating the Second Amendment."

"The most fundamental job of a Congressman is to protect your liberties, and I take that duty incredibly seriously," Moore wrote. "An assault on one constitutional right is an attack on them all, and I will continue doing all I can to fight those seeking to seize power from the people and give it to the government."

In a statement to Newsweek on Wednesday, Adzi Vokhiwa, federal affairs director for the gun-control advocacy group Giffords, said that legislation like the one Moore proposed this week are not impactful "in the midst of a gun violence epidemic in the United States."

"There have already been more mass shootings than days in the year in 2023 and in 2021 nearly 50,000 Americans lost their lives in gun violence," Vokhiwa said. "Instead of working to advance commonsense solutions, address gun violence, and save American lives, extremist Republicans in Congress are pushing the gun lobby's 'guns everywhere for anyone' agenda."

"This is egregious and reckless. We condemn this legislation and far-right politicians who value gun industry profits more than Americans' lives," she added.

Update 2/23/23, 7:57 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional comment from Giffords.