Murder rifle used in 1966 University of Texas rampage on sale for $25k

Sterling Beard
Director of Journalism Training

  • Charles Whitman, a former Marine and UT student, climbed the University of Texas clock tower on Aug. 1, 1966, and murdered 16 people.
  • Bids open at $25,000 for the Remington 700 bolt-action rifle used in the deadliest shooting on a university campus until 2007.
  • A rifle allegedly used in the 1966 tower massacre at the University of Texas (UT) is being sold in an online auction.

    Bids open at $25,000 for the Remington 700 bolt-action rifle, according to the Associated Press, and the current owner’s identity is being kept a secret.

    The rifle was used by Charles Whitman, a former Marine and UT student, who climbed the University of Texas clock tower on Aug. 1, 1966, and spent an hour murdering 16 people, reportedly hitting victims at a distance of up to 500 yards. The shooting claimed a 17th victim, who died in 2001 from injuries sustained during Whitman’s sniping.

    Whitman’s rampage ended after police climbed the tower and gunned him down on the tower’s observation deck.

    The gun was sold soon afterward, along with other weapons from Whitman’s arsenal, to a Wichita Falls gun dealer. Ownership has reportedly changed several times in the ensuing decades.

    Donald Weiss, a Dallas man who is aiding the sale, denies that it is cashing in on “the horrific part.”

    “This is strictly for collectors, for its historic value,” he told the AP.

    The sale is taking place on the Texas Gun Trader website according to the AP, though several auctions appear on that site claiming to offer the gun; it is unclear which of them is legitimate.

    The shooting was the deadliest on a university campus until 2007, which saw Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho shoot and kill over 30 people and injure many more.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @SterlingCBeard





    Sterling Beard

    Sterling Beard

    Director of Journalism Training
    Sterling Beard is Campus Reform's Director of Journalism Training. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he spent time as an editorial associate for National Review Online and as a staff writer at The Hill, where he served as the Intercollegiate Studies Institute's Lyn Nofziger Fellow and regularly appeared across the country on Fox News Radio to provide analysis of current events. In 2017, Sterling was named to The Chronicle of Higher Education's Influence List, one of nine people who "affected federal policy, campus culture, and the national conversation about education in 2017 — and who are likely to remain influential in the year ahead."
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