Bass Pro Shops selling $1600 'Cherokee Trail of Tears' rifle?

The national retail giant is getting heat on social media for selling a rifle commemorating the Trail of Tears tragedy

With 171 retail stores across the United States and Canada, Bass Pro Shops, a retailer that sells equipment and gear for camping, hunting and fishing is under a bit of social media heat for selling a $1,600 Winchester rifle (Model #9422) that has “Cherokee” on the packaging as well as imagery of members of the Cherokee Nation being led away by soldiers on the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

UPDATE:Cherokee Nation applauds Bass Pro Shops for removal of “Trail of Tears” rifle

Seth Haines posted to Twitter on Saturday that he was in a Northwest Arkansas store when he spotted the rifle. He posted images to Twitter and stated he would not be shopping at Bass Pro Shops again.

“At @BassProShops in NW Arkansas looking for fly rods and I spotted this: a @winchester “Cherokee Trail of Tears,” rifle. See the white soldiers with their guns pushing the Native Americans out?

And this is in a store. In America. In 2018. Yeah... I won’t be buying from Bass Pro.”

Haines also mentioned in his thread that the rifle was part of the 'Gun Library' and that the rifle had originally been sold by Cabella's as is indicated by the name on the trigger lock.

Many responded to Haines’ tweet.

Jason Millwood wrote: “My dad’s great great grandparents died on the trail, this is sickening how it’s celebrated.”

Louie Sheridan Jr wrote: “This an absolute outrage! Trying to profit off of the genocide that was propagated by the US govt. What is your response @BassProShops ? Have you no clue that the @CherokeeNation itself is relatively local to you?”

Bass Pro Shops has not yet responded to Indian Country Today’s request for comment over the weekend.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling


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David Hollenshead
David Hollenshead

Perhaps a group of Native Hunters & Gunsmiths should produce an ideal bolt action hunting rifle, that uses components from only respectable suppliers. And then sell it at cost within the Nations that need it, and at a profit to respectable sporting goods shops...


I think it is in poor taste for Winchester to choose a rifle of all things to commemorate a tragic event like The Trail of Tears. That would be like some gas company issuing a "commemorative" BBQ gas tank with the tragic history of the Holocaust on the side of it. There really are some lines that should not be crossed and this is one of them!


FAKE NEWS! PEOPLE NEED TO CHECK THEIR FACTS BEFORE LIGHTING FIRES!!!! This is NOT a "Cherokee Trail of Tears" rifle, it is a Winchester Cherokee Commemorative 22LR and has nothing to do with the "Trail of Tears". Winchester DID make a limited edition "Trail of Tears" tribute lever action rifle some years back, the intent was not to glorify the trail of tears but pay tribute to the Cherokee people and what they were forced to endure at the hands of our government. "Today, America Remembers and the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, N.C., are honored to introduce this handsomely decorated firearm in special remembrance of all those who endured the saddest period in Cherokee history, and a tribute to the spirit and proud legacy of the Cherokee. Right side of the receiver pays tribute to two of the most revered Cherokee leaders – Principal Chief John Ross, one of the Tribe’s legendary leaders who carried the records and laws of the Cherokee Nation to the Oklahoma reservation and Stand Watie, who worked to establish the new homeland and later become a Civil War hero, the only Native American General in the Confederate Army. Also featured is a map illustrating the routes the Cherokee traveled across to Oklahoma, along with Sequoyah’s translation of the word “Cherokee.” Additionally, the Cherokee word “Yunwiya,” meaning people is featured. The left side of the receiver features a portrait of the statesman Sequoyah, whose creation of the Cherokee alphabet led to the remarkable literacy rate of his people. His portrait is flanked by two starkly contrasting scenes in Cherokee history – an image depicting the Cherokee working in the fields they loved and a touching image of the Cherokee moving west to Oklahoma on “the trail where they cried.”


I don’t think I would have felt honored or commemorated back in ‘78 either.