According to Wiki, “Despite having a name that evokes images of the Texas Frontier, Gun Barrel City is only fifty years old.” Though Somebodyisfromhere.com supposes their reasons for doing so were somewhat Wild West-y.
“It was incorporated in the late 1960s so it could legally sell beer and wine.”
That’s not to say the folks at Gun Barrel were always nice:
“A local resident, Mr. C. L. Wait, lived along the road and was known for sitting at the window of his house with a shotgun sticking out the window. It was his way of deterring those he deemed unwelcome on this back country road.”
Other locals were famous for having guns as well. The town was named after a street in town with the same name.
Gun Barrel Lane got its name during the 1920s and ’30s when outlaws frequented the area. It was considered a safe backwoods place during Prohibition when the likes of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker hung out in the area.
Locals seem to look at their village with rogue’s charm. Their town’s motto is “We Shoot Straight with You.”
And they have recently become more welcoming.
Gun Barrel City has grown into the central hub and access point for the waters of Cedar Creek Lake. This has led visitors from around the region to use Gun Barrel City as the gateway into the lake. In addition to the high amount of tourism that the community witnesses (particularly during the summer boating season), Gun Barrel City and the surrounding communities have experienced a residential building boom over the past several years. This growth has largely been led by the relocation of wealthy retirees from throughout the Dallas region, building large lake homes in order to take advantage of Gun Barrel City’s lake access.
Fairly recently, Gun Barrel made the news for having elected a young mayor.
In May 2000, Gun Barrel City voters elected their 13th Mayor, 21-year-old Entrepreneur and Newspaper Publisher, Randal Tye Thomas, who became a media and political celebrity in the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area. After a very successful year as Mayor, marked by widespread community support, he resigned suddenly in May 2001 following a Grand Jury indictment for one count of misdemeanor perjury and in the same week being arrested by the Gun Barrel City Police Department for Public Intoxication. All criminal charges were eventually dismissed… Thomas moved to the Dallas, Texas area in 2002.