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Kill coyotes like a governor

The gun sells for about $340. A laser sight — like the one Gov. Rick Perry uses — will cost about $180 more.
The gun sells for about $340. A laser sight — like the one Gov. Rick Perry uses — will cost about $180 more. AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's showdown on the jogging trail has spurred a gun maker to sell a "Coyote Special" edition of the weapon he used to take down the varmint. Perry himself has one of the pistols.

The governor shot the coyote that he said was threatening his daughter's puppy with a Ruger .380-caliber pistol. Manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. has now come out with a version emblazoned with "Coyote Special" and "A True Texan" on the sides.

On top is a picture of a coyote howling at the moon and five-pointed star of Texas. The box says it is "For Sale to Texans Only."

"They're very hot," in the few weeks they've been out, said Joe McBride, owner of McBride's Guns in Austin. Perry is a frequent shopper there and a photograph of him posing with McBride hangs in the business office.

The gun sells for about $340. A laser sight — like the one Perry uses — will cost about $180 more.

McBride said he didn't have specific sales figures, but a salesman said four had been sold before the lunch hour Monday.

"Our governor can outshoot your governor. That's what I like to tell people from out of state," said salesman George Gibbons.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. did not immediately have sales or manufacturing figures for the "Coyote Special," but it appears to have interest from buyers across the state.

"Everybody's been looking at these and they've been selling pretty good," said Pete Gaona, an employee at Sharp Shooters Knife & Gun in Lubbock.

The governor even has one, and "thinks it's a great gun," his spokeswoman Allison Castle said. She did not say if it was a gift or if he purchased one.

Perry told The Associated Press last month that he took down the coyote with one shot while on a February morning run with his daughter's Labrador retriever. He said he was jogging alone on a trail in an undeveloped area near his rental mansion.

The governor, a concealed handgun permit holder, said he takes the gun with him when running on trails because he is afraid of snakes. He carries the pistol loaded with hollow-point bullets in a special belt.

State law allows people to shoot coyotes that are threatening livestock or domestic animals. The incident raised questions about whether Perry violated a city ordinance banning the discharge of weapons, but Austin police said a situation like the one Perry described would be considered self defense.

Perry, a Republican, is running for a third full term against former Houston mayor Bill White, a Democrat.