Utah may adopt a state gun
Utah is trying to adopt the Browning M1911 handgun as its state gun 100 years after the U.S. Army began using it.
January 26th, 2011
06:38 PM ET

Utah may adopt a state gun

Utah has a state flower, a state fossil, a state cooking pot and 21 other official symbols. It might soon add a state gun.

The state House passed a measure Wednesday, by a 51-19 vote, that would make the Browning M1911 pistol - designed by Utah’s John Moses Browning in the early 20th century - the state firearm. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Carl Wimmer, has said the measure aims to honor Browning. His M1911 was used as a standard U.S. Army sidearm from 1911 to 1985, according to the Browning manufacturing company's website and Jane's Infantry Weapons.



The measure has attracted criticism from anti-gun activists and some state House members. Some lawmakers argued in debate Wednesday that it was insensitive after the January 8 shooting in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six and wounded 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

One state lawmaker, Democratic Rep. Carol Moss, said during Wednesday's debate on the House floor that in addition to her concerns regarding the Arizona shooting, she was worried that children would see things such as coloring books featuring the gun along with the other state symbols, the Tribune reported.

Steve Gunn of the Gun Violence Prevention Center told CNN affiliate KSL last month - before the Tuscon shooting - that he thought the proposal was in bad taste.

"I would nominate arsenic as our state poison, because, of course arsenic is often a byproduct of our state mining industry," Gunn sarcastically told KSL in December.

Wimmer told KSL this week that "this pistol is Utah," and its history "is emblazoned on our state." He added that rather than gloryfying an implement of death, as he said some critics charged, "we're glorifying an implement of freedom that has defended us for 100 years."

During Wednesday's debate, one lawmaker suggested erecting a statue of Browning instead, but Wimmer countered that his plan was the only way to honor the gun designer without costing taxpayers, the Tribune reported.

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Filed under: Utah
soundoff (318 Responses)
  1. nipper

    Omg crazy stuff

    January 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry N.

      John M. Browning was part of the Mormon migration to Utah. He is the greatest gun designer of all time and his immortal classic is the 1911 .45 pistol. Sergeant Alvin York would not have survived his battle which made him the greatest hero of WW1 without the 1911. This is the 100th anniversary greatest pistol ever designed. There could not be a more fitting tribute to John M. Browning than to make the 1911 the Utah State pistol. It should be honored as the United States Pistol.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Allen L Wenger

      Then Utah can pick a state poison. These people are sad.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Trash

      I threw up in my mouth. You yanks are nuts.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
    • aatami

      It seems that Larry N forgot to take his medication. "Larry! Hey Larry! Deep breath and take something quick because your coming off as a royal A** Hole." Wow, there are some friggin' crazies in this country and it seems they collect around religious fanaticism. Between the christians, mormons, scientologists, etc, I'm thinkin' that the commies had the right idea.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. David

    As a gun owning liberal, I see NO problem in honoring an invention of a person from their state.

    January 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      Really besides the most obvious of why this is a bad idea.. is this is the most creative one can get to represent their state. What are we a nation of "gansta's"? I mean why stop their why not have it be an atomic bomb. What's nex't the official animal is a pit bull.

      January 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • MG.

      The only gansta with bad ideas is in the white house ....Obama!

      January 26, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric of Reseda

      Oh c'mon! There are any number of ways to honor Mr. Browning other than making his invention the "State gun". But no worries. Utah is Mormon country, and the Mormons, being followers of Jesus Christ and good God-fearing folk, would of course never allow such glorification of a literal killing machine.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris in the center of Canada

      It's a beautiful gun...people just don't kill another human with it...
      Happiness (is a warm gun)
      Bang Bang Shoot Shoot
      Happiness (is a warm gun, momma)
      Bang Bang Shoot Shoot

      January 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Agreed

      January 26, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      @David

      If you and your tree huggers dont like firearms then dont own one.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • blucorsair

      Every state should have a state gun!! ...Illinois and Obama would be well suited with the Tommy Gun !

      January 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality Check

      @Eric of Reseda

      Trust me, Mormons are well aquainted with violence.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1386232/Mormon-leader-ordered-massacre-of-settlers.html

      January 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • stephen

      To Eric of Resida...... actually man is the perfect killing machine as we can take a twig from a tree and shoot it into someone, it is called an arrow, we can take our bare hands and cut the air off to anothor himan being, it is called suffocation, we can even take simple powders or solutions and slip it into another persons food or drink, it is called poisoning. In other words yeah, guns make it easier to kill, but if someone really wanted to kill you it could be just as easy to drive over you with a car. PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE, and guns are just another tool to do so among those other tools mentioned. There are alot more good, responsible users of guns out there then there are bad.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. TimeCop

    Yee haw! *Spitoon* I jus slap that 4 banger upside the wheelbarrow... Tell you what... NASCAR.

    January 26, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      they took are jobs!

      January 26, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ijreilly

      dey doook ourr doobs!!!!!!

      January 27, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. Hinckley

    If this passes hopefully they will have a flag bearing the Browning at the state capital.That would be awesome.

    January 26, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dhi

    Insensitive? More like immoral

    January 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Full mag

    as a citizen of Utah I'd to take it one step further maybe we could all arm ourselfs and go out in public on Brownings birthday

    January 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Great idea. Also give all the police the day off so they can leave town safely.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • robd

      Utah doesn't have citizens they have residents. Just what are you guys planning over there?

      January 27, 2011 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. BathroomBano

    The Utah legislature must not have much to do if they're taking time to vote on state cooking pots or state guns. If they have a state porta potty I'm leaving this country.

    January 26, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben Jordan

      I agree. But seriously, Utah residents money is paying these people to go into their chamber and vote on this crap... unbelievable...

      January 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Shellz

      As a "Utahn", I think this is a complete waist of time and tax payers money. Guarantee ya it has some mormon-convo-chitchat that had this come about.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BathroomBano

    @David: The Browning was a very good tool in defeating tyranny abroad. Back when the US was isolationist mostly and only fought just conflicts. Considering it's inventor was a Utah native I see no problems in honoring him. I have more of an issue with the idea of having a state gun. You know all the NASCAR states are going to adopt state guns now. The state cooking pot is ridiculous as well.

    January 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • haileymon

      Agreed. Declare a statewide John Moses Browning Day maybe but not a state gun. So much time and money is wasted with this kind of Cr@p in every state and certainly in Washington. Take care of the big stuff first, then on with your petty petulant two-year old behavior. I digress...

      January 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Perhaps the NASCAR states can secede and run themselves anyway they want and let the rest of America progress.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TimTheEnchanter

      @BathroomBano and @TimeCop....NASCAR states? You mean like Michigan, California and Kansas? They all have tracks, you know.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Natalie

    I am a new resident of Utah and to see something like this is really empowering and awesome. I'm happy to be a resident of a state that is proud of their history and not worried about what other people/states will think of their pride. If someone doesn't like it, then don't live here. Easy as that!

    January 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • costareader

      Well said but it appears that people prefer to tell others how they should live instead of worrying about how they live their own lives.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. BathroomBano

    Hey Natalie! What # wife are you? Yup Utah doesn't care bout no pesky polygamy or child (r)a(p)e.. That's what makes Utah so great!

    January 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      BathroomBano, you are a fool. You assume that all Utah residents are polygamist and support child abuse? People like you are the problem in this country, not guns. Like it or not, guns are a big reason that you have the right to spew this nonsense.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. kim

    Where is utah haha ha didnt they read the news a women just killed her three young children an herself and yes it is a terrible ideal to put guns as a state symbol stupid stupid.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Natalie

    aww I'm sorry that you have such horrible misconceptions of the great state of Utah. If you are trying to insinuate that I'm Mormon then you are wrong, and that all Mormons are polygamists then I am sorry to inform you that you are incorrect once again. Despite what you think, Polygamy is not legal in Utah but obviously you haven't researched the topic of this state's laws well enough to know a simple fact like that. It's alright though, just keep on living your life in whatever (likely debt-ridden) state you're in. I don't want to be surrounded by people like you as neighbors anyway. Take care 🙂

    January 26, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      You tell 'em Natalie. I'm from Montana and we fight the same self-righteous idiots up here!

      January 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Full mag

    yeah Natalie! you tell them lets go target shoot some cooking pots with images of liberals...hee haw...

    January 26, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RUFFNUTT

    i like the 1911,, it's a great looking gun.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry Miller

      It feels great too. A lot of people complain about the weight, but I like it. It's not like those silly plastic Glocks–they feel like toys.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Natalie

    woooo-eeee I aint be wantin ta ruin mah good cookin' pots now Full Mag! 😉

    January 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
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