GRIMES COUNTY, TX — Ben Leman, state representative for Texas’ 13th district, has authored dozens of bills while in office. This year, one resolution he presented before congress came as inspiration from his 15-year-old son, James.
James Leman enjoys dove and hog hunting and shoots competitively with his school’s f4H program in Grimes County. His enjoyment of firearms, combined with his love of studying history, recently culminated in an inquiry about Texas tradition.
"James has always been interested in the history of guns, the muzzleloaders, the flintlocks - those types of weapons that developed over time," Ben Leman relayed. "And one day he came to me about this pistol, the Colt Walker pistol in particular. He said, 'You know Dad, we don’t have a state handgun of Texas!’"
The congressman was inspired by his son’s interest, and at the start of the year, he proposed a resolution declaring the Colt Walker as the official state gun of Texas. The resolution, HCR 15, was reviewed by the House of Representatives, and its identical companion bill, SCR 20, was then passed by the senate and house before being signed into law last week by Gov. Greg Abbott.
James said he’s happy to know his interest in Texas history and the famous relic of a revolver made a difference for the state.
“When the colt walker was invented, it used six bullets," James explained. "And that gave people a huge advantage when dealing with, say; if you’re in warfare and the enemy has one bullet and you have six, that’s definitely an advantage. That was a huge deal and helped us win the Mexican-American War.”
While James was impressed with the history of the 1847 Colt Walker, the Lemans don’t own one of these .44 caliber revolvers. In fact, most gun owners couldn’t.
According to literature from the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum in Waco, only 1,100 Colt Walker revolvers were ever produced. And, only just over ten percent of these guns manufactured still exist today.
"Some other guns that [the Colt Walker] gave way to, like the Colt Single Action Army, are still used in movies and stuff, but the Colt Walker is definitely more of a relic today," James said.
Gov. Abbott tweeted about the resolution last week, noting the firearm’s use in historic Texas conflicts, and concluding with the statement,
"I'll be signing more gun laws real soon."
Anyone wanting to sneak a peek at a real Colt Walker can observe the one on display at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum in Waco.
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