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

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.

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