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. Ogden Hatch

    dang I just shot my big toe off.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • haileymon

      Dang. Wasn't there a factory recall in 1916 to fix that?

      ...I really have no idea.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • RommelAOE

      You make it habit to point a gun at your foot? You deserve to be missing a little bit more than your big toe.
      Here, have a Darwin award, you've earned it.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JunieB

    You tell them Natalie.

    The west was won with hard work, a keen sense of intelligence, and hunting skills. Today it is still celebrated by those who work hard, understand nature – respect it and hunt. I would prefer the weapon not be a handgun though, as a rifle more clearly would represent the history and modern populace of the great state of Utah.

    January 26, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RUFFNUTT

    my favorite gun i think is a schoal-field old west 6-shooter..

    i like those old-west guys..

    January 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Philip

    Utah with all of it's natural wonders adopts an implememt designed to kill humans as an official symbol? Arches, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell, Colorado City...oops. Colo. City isn't a natural wonder. it's a freak show. Travelling to the North rim of the Grand Canyon one day, I had a tire go flat. I spotted this little town just off the main county road, and went there to get my flat fixed. Pulling into town I got this odd feeling from how the youngsters all had ears that stuck-out like handlebars. I pulled into a gas station, and was told I was in the wrong town by these fellers. So left town but not before noticing each home had more than one fireplace, and several had three or four. After my visit to the North Rim (where I shot my .264 win. mag. exactly one mile accross the canyon, for I was armed to the teeth back then) I went home and began investigating this town. It has a very storied past, and was originally built on skids so the whole town could be moved back and forth accross the Arizona border. (cont)

    January 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henry Miller

      Actually, the 1911 was adopted specifically because it was especially good at saving the lives of American soldiers in the Philippine-American War.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Philip

    (cont) Now, I'm not exacly sure where they skidded this town to for the last time, but I think it's Colroado City, Az. now. When they got word authorities were coming to get them for their polygamy, they would move the town accross the line to escape arrest. (google it sometime) Am I surprised that the same state that hatched the Patriot Act and the coming Victory Act would adopt an old pistol for an official symbol? Not in the least.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Orin Hatch(ed) that is.

    January 26, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Worlds best powder

    Nevermind I was thinking Colombia

    January 26, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ogden Hatch

    millions of years from now the fossils from where Orin was hathced will be discovered

    January 26, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    @RUFFNUTT...is that you?

    January 26, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      dun.. it's me.. not the troll.. i'm not as awesome today cause my three-wolves t-shirt is in the washer..i'm wearing my monty python black knight t-shirt now..

      January 26, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. JeanClaudeVanDarn

    Didn't Utah elect a tea bagger that wanted to exclude the public from voting for senators? This guy wanted the state legislature to "appoint" senators to DC. Yee haw I likes tea! Dumb tards. By the way JCVD was the best movie ever!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. roger watson

    remember crazy gun nut americans , guns dont kill people, people with guns kill people. so sad whats happened to your country

    January 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • RommelAOE

      So you would have no problem divulging your country of origin so we can see how well your murder rates have done in the past 20 years? Since loosening gun laws more than 20 years ago, the violent crime rates have gone down, so unless you like seeing more people get killed, the US has gotten better, not worse, so I don't know what you're complaining about.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    LoL RUFFNUTT. (what color are your panties?) he he...just having some fun friend. 🙂

    January 26, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      i'm wearing my scooby-doo under-roos

      January 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff Frank

    State Gun. Then it'll be the State Hamburger. State SUV. The State Trashcan. The State Condom. The State Moron. Get it. There's more important issues at hand. You want to honor Browning and his M1911 ...great! Honor Glock 9mm as well!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Philip

    Hey, btw...have you seen banasy lately? Haven't seen her for a while now.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      nope... mia, maybe we can get nancy grace to find her.

      January 26, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Worlds best snow

    if I was in high school I'd get an 'F' I thought tea was invented in Utah...Dang...

    January 26, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
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