NRA Gun Maker Cecil Brooks Dies Gun maker Cecil Brooks, whose hand-crafted firearms have been presented as gifts to keynote speakers at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting since 1955, died recently of heart failure at the age of 93.
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NRA Gun Maker Cecil Brooks Dies

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NRA Gun Maker Cecil Brooks Dies

NRA Gun Maker Cecil Brooks Dies

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MIKE PESCA, host:

Now a remembrance of the man behind a famous pop culture quote.

Mr. CHARLTON HESTON (Actor): From my cold, dead hands...

PESCA: We look back at the star of that moment. No, not Charlton Heston but the rifle he was holding aloft at an NRA convention. It was a flintlock rifle created by gunsmith Cecil Brooks, who died recently. Jim Land is the secretary of the National Rifle Association. Right now he's traveling back from Brooks's funeral.

That rifle I know wasn't loaded, but if you put gunpowder in it, could it have fired?

Mr. JIM LAND (Secretary, National Rifle Association): Oh, yes. And they were very accurate. Cecil Brooks took a lot of pride in the fact that his rifles shot as well as they looked.

PESCA: And made a Cecil Brooks rifle special?

Mr. LAND: The craftsmanship and the fact that he made them the same way they made them in the 17 and 1800s.

PESCA: Did you ever talk to Cecil Brooks about his thoughts on modern weaponry? I can imagine he'd either marvel at the progression from his flintlock rifles to the modern M-16s, which can shoot almost 1,000 rounds a minute. Or did he just prefer the simplicity of the older rifles that he worked on?

Mr. LAND: I think he preferred the simplicity of the older rifles, because he felt that he was in essence recreating history, and he approached his gunsmith work in that way. But Cecil was very knowledgeable about modern firearms.

PESCA: In 200 years, do you think the NRA is going to be presenting people with M-16s?

Mr. LAND: No.

PESCA: It will always go back to the revolution, the rifles used to fight the revolution?

Mr. LAND: Since 1955, we've been presenting Cecil Brooks rifles. He had an apprentice that worked with him for 14 years, and his apprentice will continue the tradition of the Brooks-style rifle that will be presented to the speakers for many years to come.

PESCA: Edward Land is the secretary of the National Rifle Association. He spoke of gunsmith Cecil Brooks, who died this week at the age of 93. Thank you, Mr. Land.

Mr. LAND: I appreciate it.

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