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. yadayadayada

    Great entertainment...........funny to read how some people are so ignorant about guns and their purpose.

    January 27, 2011 at 3:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. LoneIndividual

    First, the M1911 is a .45...not a 9mm, so "WOLF" doesn't know the history of the gun, much less about the gun itself.
    Second, Guns are the great equalizer. You'd think those done injustices would love that.
    Third, It will have a positive effect on Utah to make it the state gun. Other people would treat Utahns with slightly less contempt for not sending their young men to ... "serve" ... their country. (not kidding, I'm serious about the contempt part)

    ps: I'm a liberal...in the Lockean sense.

    January 27, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pete

    WOW, I own a gun, but this is just plain stupid. Are people in Utah really allowing state lawmakers to WASTE time thinking and debating about this issue. Seems like what you really have to do is improve your education system so Utah can have more rational, logical voters who won't vote these ridiculous people into office.

    January 27, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pete

    BTW, that gun sucks. Get an H&K.

    January 27, 2011 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. koinu

    why dont we add a state chainsaw and a state pair of breasts

    January 27, 2011 at 4:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. JRH

    Utah has eclipsed California as land of the fruits and nuts. In this case wingnuts. A state gun, for god's sake? These people are on another planet from where I live. Why not a state nuclear weapon? A state bow & arrow? A state tank?

    January 27, 2011 at 5:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lucy

    I'm not particularly thrilled with the notion of declaring an official state weapon anyway- but it's especially depressing that they are adopting a handgun as an official weapon. At least a rifle has a rich history, used to hunt animals and other more practical uses. A handgun is soley used to hurt or kill fellow man. And they want to celebrate this?

    January 27, 2011 at 5:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Hurting or killing fellow men is what won you your freedoms and maintains them, whether you like or recognize it or not.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ed

    It may have been a John M. Browning design but the gun is a COLT M1911. John M. Browning had many excellent firearm designs including the one credited with starting WW1.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joe Mama

    A gun is meant to used to clear the Wax out of your ear's.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Haley Grant

    Guns are the solutions to all our problems. Any stupid Republican will believe that and will kill for that belief. That is why their is no point of arguing here.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  11. Katie

    I'm in full support of this. How many times to idiots have to be reminded that GUNS DO NOT KILL PEOPLE, people kill people.

    January 27, 2011 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  12. Iceman83

    Folks, a guns sole purpose in life is to provide a medium where a bullet can be discharged. A cars only purpose in life is to be a means of transportation. Anything used for a purpose not intended by those who invented it is up to us.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Green Teeth

    Ever notice that the gun ban freaks don't know sh1t about guns? Most every anti-gun story in the media has errors regarding firearms. Misidentifying weapons, inaccurate terminology like 'assault weapon', 'clips', etc. That is why none of us take you obsessed freaks seriously. You don't know what you are talking about. Kind of pathetic.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Rich

    In my younger days I owned many guns, all of them used for target shooting only. When my oldest was born I sold the last of them out of safety concerns my wife had. My father (who was in law enforcement for 15 years) fired his gun only one time other than for target shooting and practice. That one time was at a fleeing escaped felon whom they were ordered to shoot to kill if spotted. My father wounded him in the leg. To the day he died my father was extremely happy with his marksmanship and so am I. Nothing wrong with gus in the hands of responsible people. To bad not everyone is responsible regardless of the type of weapons in their possession.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rich

    Sorry, meant guns not gus.

    January 27, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
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