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. JeanClaudeVanDarn

    I think all you pro gun people are missing the point. Most of us posting here are not anti gun rights but we are against the state legislature taking time away from the serious matters they should be focusing on to vote on state cooking pots or state guns. Having guns is great but why be so belligerent about it. It makes you look like you're incapable of talking about anything else besides antiquated Ben Franklin quotes(who was a drunkard, drug user pagan cult member and philanderer by the way) or all you talk about is guns. It makes you look stupid. You get all uptight simply because a few people think states have more pressing issues. Then you get all defensive like we're coming for your precious guns. Lol losers. No wonder why this country is going down the toilet.

    January 27, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob Logan

    Hey what about a state idiot? Oh wait that would be all the elected morons who are wasting time and money on non patriotic endevours. Hello Orange boy and palin, engle and many others. It is time the the people took back control of the reins of our lives....

    January 27, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. "Big" Matt G.

    Don't forget the extended magazine for that state gun!

    January 27, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  4. Wzrd1

    It seems that the MESSAGE of the state legislature got lost in the idiocy here.
    The state is NOT selecting the weapon as a stance endorsing firearms, firearms ownership or gold plated nuclear missiles.
    It was to commemorate John Browning, a Utah native, who invented MANY firearms for the military. The same military and weapons that are keeping you from saluting the Nazi flag today.
    Weapons, such as the Browning Automatic Rifle, the Browning M1911, the Browning M2 .50 caliber machine gun. The M1911 is still in limited service today and the M2 .50 caliber machine gun is serving in both combat zones.
    A tribute to the durability (the M2's were made after WWI and during WWII (I was issued one made by the Singer Sewing machine company and another made by IBM) AND still remain in service today.
    So, because he made weapons, he's evil? Forget him because they selected the goods of his trade?
    By rejecting him and his works, you effectively reject your veterans.
    But, you all lose that entire concept, just for the sake of arguing concealed carry, home defense, muskets, the second amendment and the going price of pork bellies or something, forgetting the man and his works.
    AND forgetting that unless you live in Utah, it's none of your damned business.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tgbvt

    Great, now I have to find a new favorite handgun...

    January 27, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kevinbgoode

    Oh puhleeze – everyone is a "law-abiding citizen" until they decide not to be one.

    When conservatives aren't running around wailing about being afraid themselves, they search for ways to promote fear and intimidation in others. If everyone owns a gun, no one will get killed. Now that's some twisted logic.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kevinbgoode

    Well, how can conservatives promote "second amendment" remedies if they aren't promoting guns . . .which, of course, they only mean to use to "defend" themselves, or force others to do as they demand.

    Of course, then they are being "patriots" – not criminals.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Phil

    I own so many handguns but I'm not sure if I have a favorite one. I like the looks of my Heckler & Koch .40 caliber, but I carry a Ruger LCP .380 everywhere. Seems silly to have a "state gun" – but whatever works for them.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pro gun

    I wonder how many of you own or carry a firearm? As someone who own's and carries on a semi regular basis due to my local laws in Arizona I can honestly tell you that when I am carrying I am much more responsible than when I am not carrying. I am infinitely less likely to act irrationally during “a moment of anger” when I have my sidearm on me because one of my biggest fears in this world is HAVING to use my side arm for its intended purpose. I pray that I never find myself in that position, however I am prepared through private training to act responsibly if I have to save a life, mine or others. I assume that you were never taught as I was that a firearm is a tool; a hammer has but few purposes and when used responsibly is harmless (other than to the occasional thumb) but when used irresponsibly it can cause great destruction or death… a firearm is no different it has few variants from its intended purpose and is subject only to the operator. However that is not the subject at hand as many have seemed to overlook, personally I think that having an Official State Firearm is ridiculous and I would be disappointed as a tax payer if my state were to follow suit.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Matt

    K, I think that everyone is taking it out of proportion. It's being made a symbol because countless soldiers have used it in the struggle for freedom and justice. It is a salute to the inventor, the troops, and the design that served our fighting men and women well.
    P.S. The Arizona gun was a Glock, not a 1911.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. KM

    They should adopt a BB gun, more akin to the State mentality.

    January 28, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scott Rensch

    There is one basic flaw in anti-gun reasoning, and that is that objects (including guns) don't kill people...people kill people. Browning's creation has helped to defend American soldiers and our national interests across numerous decades in every locale around the globe. The idea is to honor the man, a native of their state, and the freedom he ultimately helped to protect. If their duly-elected legislature decides that is a proper form of homage, who are you to say otherwise?

    January 28, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Military Historian

    This should be the model 1911A1, which was used until 1985 by the US military.

    January 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. Baldr Odinson

    Utah apparently has run out of peaceful things to symbolize their state. Designating a gun as a state symbol only glorifies this nation's gun culture and the violence it brings. This model was designed for one purpose: to kill humans as efficiently as possible, and primarily for the military. Yes, it has since been lauded as a weapon of self-defense or for sport shooting. Yes it was invented by an all-time great weapons designer. But it has also left at least as many innocents dead as criminals. The message it sends is one of glorifying an instrument of death. Would it be any less of a negative message if they had chosen a hangman's noose or an electric chair instead? I think not.

    My blog post on this issue, at New Trajectory: http://newtrajectory.blogspot.com/2011/01/utah-may-designate-state-gun.html

    January 29, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tom Bender

    I'm sure Jerry Brown will do one better.
    The official gun of Kalifornia will be the "CRACK PIPE".
    There's a Smoking Gun for you.

    January 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
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