Scope manufacturer under fire for encoded scripture - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Scope manufacturer under fire for encoded scripture

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By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Trijicon, the manufacturer of high-tech telescopic lenses for combat rifles, has been using bible versus as part of the stock number system for several years since their owner, a devout Christian, died in a plan crash.

While they belive there was nothing wrong or illegal with adding the scripture versus, religous gorups and active duty and retired members of the military fear it is a violation of the constitution and that the practice could be used against the United States in what could be viewed as religous war.

The military attachments are sold to the public at local gun stores, like Mission Essential on Abercorn Street.

Chris Hildebrand is a weapons expert and says if you look closely at the serial number on the sight, you will notice "JN8:12" or John 8:12.


"These are top of the line optics, they save our troops over there everyday," Chris Hildebrand with Mission Essential said holding one up. "They are very effective in combat and they are excellent, which is why the military uses them."

"They have been doing that for years and I think people just recently discovered it, it's just part of their company," Hildebrand further explained. "Citizen models have it military models have it, it's just their standard way of serializing the pieces."

John 8: 12 is a reference to the Gospel of John in which Jesus says, "he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

This week a firestorm of complaints arose from both believers and atheists who say the mix of church and state is a bad precedent to set

Hildebrand disagress. "Absolutely not, this has nothing to do with anti-fundamentalism, it is purely their product and how they do it," he noted.

Veteran Jimmy Ray doesn't like the religious writings on military weapons and thinks it should stop now, and the U.S. military agrees.

"I just can't see us saying the Jihadists, left wing muslim Jihadists are doing it for Allah and then tuirn and criticize them and then we put it on our weapons," said veteran Jimmy Ray.


"I just don't think military equipment needs religious connotations even though I am christian and fight for Democracy, it shouldn't be on our weapons. "Our duty in the military is not to protect any particular religion, but protect the freedom of religion."

"Its their company policy they have been doing that for years and my personal opinion it's just what they do," said Hildebrand.

Their policy is now changing. Trijicon says the U.S. Military has been their customer since 1995 and they have never received any complaints about the testament citations; however, they have agreed to remove encoded scriptire references on weapons it builds for the U.S. Military and will send a repair kit to any customer wishing to remove the citation, including the military.

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