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. DJ

    Apparently the fascists at cnn did not approve of my last comment. I will bid adieu to you all as I am sure to be black bagged in the night for forming my own opinions

    January 27, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. funkylovemonkey

    "but Wimmer countered that his plan was the only way to honor the gun designer without costing taxpayers,"

    Of course Wimmer doesn't count his or any of the other 75 members of the legislature's SALARIES as being a waste of tax payer money. Neither does he consider it a waste of time to argue about a dead gun maker on the floor of the House of Representatives at a time when unemployment in Utah sits around 7% and other state agencies are forced to lay off employees. But I suppose it's better to make an empty gesture then have to deal with the consequences of real action.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    JMB's birthday should be a national holiday and kids should get a day off school. He did as much for American freedom during times of war than any soldier or legislator in American history.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. Sam

    Frankly I think the Browning Single Shot Rifle could be a better choice. It actually was designed and manufactured in Utah until an employee of Winchester saw it and sent one back to his company. The sale of the design of what became the Winchester Model 1885 opened the way for Browning to create many guns for Winchester, Remington, Colt, FN and many others. That also made it possible for Browning to eventually design some of the most important weapons that U.S. soldiers, sailors and Marines have used to defend our country from WW1 until today.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Fuse

    A gun.... Really? Im ashamed of this state I live in UT. Our leaders are really entertaining this? Whats next...they're going to symbolize (idolize) a nuke in the name of self defense? Hmmm

    January 27, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    @Don...you never know about kids, they are foolish. My point: you do not need a handgun to protect you from the threat envisioned by our founding fathers: the Fed's militarily invading your state. Nor do you need a handgun to protect your home. I can get my Rem. 1100 trap&skeet out of the locker and have it loaded just as fast as a handgun, should the need arise. I truly believe handguns should be made illegal, making it easier to prosecute gang bangers who like them because they can be easily concealed.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  7. Art In Chicago

    Ok Utah, stop with your talking snowflake tourism campaign to visit Utah. You should show talking bullets as they rip into flesh and talk about visiting Utah triage.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Most of you are confusing gun control with handgun control. Guns have many good uses, handguns have an extra use: concealment. We need to get handguns off the streets. Who could argue that? Once handguns are illegal, and they will be made illegal, only criminals will have them, and it will be easy to prosecute them. Because right now, criminals carry handguns legally, as well as illegally. (and just for your info., the NRA is in cahoots with the Fed's to have all of our guns confiscated in the near future.)

    January 27, 2011 at 2:54 am | Report abuse |
  9. Philip

    @Steve...cops prefer sawed-off shotguns as well. My analogy stands. Handguns should be illegal, just as sawed-off shotguns are. Police need handguns...we don't.

    January 27, 2011 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    @Ben...for every home invasion where shots are fired, there are approx. 12,000 where no shots are fired. Of the shootings, over half of them involved homeowners with handguns. The criminal needs money, not blood. If you pull a gun on a robber, he or his friends(if any) will shoot you in self defense.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      You kind of contradict yourself here. You are correct that there are far more robberies where a shot is not taken. That does not mean guns are not used as a means of stopping the robbery though. Having seen it personally where someone has broken into my home and come face to face with one of my guns and I did not fire a shot. It served its purpose. Also having been in Afghanistan, sometimes the mere sight of a gun being pointed at an individual is enough to stop their actions. Oh and by the way, I am also a cop. I have criminals who have seen prison time because of me who are now on the streets and are rumored to want to inflict harm on me. Does that make me paranoid for carrying off duty to protect myself?

      January 27, 2011 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. k

    America is a doomed country, lets hope a asteroid strikes the world and kills everyone

    January 27, 2011 at 3:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    Ban Handguns! And use the money you were gonna squander on that hogleg to get yourself a new Leupould Gold Ring(tm) for that shiny new .264 win. mag. you got for x-mas. You know, the one with the shiny nickle target barrel. 4,000 fps is a lot more fun than 1850(or less) Goodnight you guy's. I really enjoyed argueing with all of you! he he. See ya 'round. 🙂

    January 27, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. ricky

    That's it... I moving to Utah!!!

    January 27, 2011 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mirco

    That's why the rest of the world sees Americans as idiots.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Fallowt

    Why are the anti-gun losers so mad? It only holds 7 shots in the magazine, or is that too many now as well?

    January 27, 2011 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
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