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. commp

    ok ,how about this compromise, everyone who wants to own a gun move to utah and you can use your handguns as a can opener or to protect your family from each other or whatever you want , and everyone else can take their chances unarmed in peace. sound good?

    January 27, 2011 at 6:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Fire3920

    Well I for one am thinking about moving to Utah because all the problems the REST of country is having with the economy, education, housing etc. MUST be solved there. If they aren't then these guys would look like a real bunch of IDIOTS to be wasting the state governments time while those more pressing problems are still around...

    January 27, 2011 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Davidloc

    LOL , this looks like Southpark came to life and commented. "We gonna yuz that there gin fer our state symbol" Good for you, you bunch of rednecks , I am proud of you being proud of your gun. Americans will never say that a person carrying a gun is more likely to kill someone if provoked or otherwise aggitated enough to fight so why not make them legal for all Americans older than 2 years provided that they can spell gun ? The NRA might just self clean itself like an oven if you do that 🙂

    January 27, 2011 at 7:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. greg

    Here was me thinking the islamists were the craziest people on the planet, then up pops Utah.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Michael

    Why not, Florida has a State Gun already!

    ........('(...´...´.... ¯~/'...')
    .........."...\.......... _.·´

    January 27, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  6. rags

    Guns don't kill without the help of somebody. Guns are inanimate objects and cannot function on their own. They have no brain, nerves, muscle, etc. Same with cars, trucks, or whatever else.
    All you people that love to hate, get a real life and understand that people kill people. If guns weren't here, these people would find another way to kill.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Bocephus

    Want to get the drop on and scare off robbers? GET AN ALARM SYSTEM INSTALLED.... a with a really loud siren. Works like a charm. You don't even have to have it monitored by a central office. The sound alone will drive off the bad guys. Guns end up killing their owners many, many times more often than the other way around. Not to mention they end up killing the owners loved ones many times over. The statistics don't lie, they just make the NRA and gun nuts look like simple minded, paranoid freaks. Exactly the type of people that should not have guns. You want to carry one? Join the military or go into law enforcement.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Davk

      So no one should own a gun? That is logicial? No more hunting right? No more target shooting? All because some gun owners mishandled their firearms? Alarms? If someone is high on drugs and breaks into your house they don't really care about alarms. Around here, robbers actaully wait for you to get home, disarm the alarm and just follow you through the front door. What then? I carry a concealed hand gun, guy approached me with a screw driver in a parking lot asking for money. Simply showed him the revolver and he happily walked away. There is a reason why almost all 50 states have a concealed handgun law allowing permits for citizens to carry.

      January 27, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Statistics DO lie. Where do you think the cliche "Statistics lie and liars use statistics" came from?

      January 27, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Davk

    I can tell Mr. Wolf is an avid gun person as he referred to the 1911 as a 9mm. Obviously Mr. Wolf knows little to nothing about firearms and most likely does not own one or ever fired one. Fitting CNN would choose this person to give his view on whether a state should adopt this measure. Obviously the recent Arizona shooting has brought negative attention to gun ownership as if the gun was responsible for the shooting and not the person. When there is a stabbing I don't see knife activist saying get rid of all knives because they kill people? How about cars? They kill more people than guns? We use cars to travel, knives to cook and guns to hunt? But if guns are used in a crime, then the guns should all go? Utah is proud of the 1911 and should adobt the measure and stop listening to people like Mr. Wolf on CNN who has no clue about firearms. I like how CNN commented that obviously some people like it because they had several votes. Wake up CNN, look what happened to the Democrats after they passed the assult rifle ban. They all were voted out! Why? People like Mr. Wolf wrote the law which encluded 10rd mags instead of 15rd mags as if that would make a difference in a violent crime? You only need one bulllet which is why crime did not go down after the ban but voter anger went up.

    January 27, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    Unless you're a resident of Utah, it really isn't any of your business OR place to comment about it. If a state is going to choose a state gun, the dependable M1911 45 auto is a good choice .

    January 27, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. LOW LYF


    January 27, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  11. IcemanN4

    I LOVE IT!! Good for Uhah! WE want a state gun in Ohio! I vote for the AR-15. For those out there who think thats crazy.....I have to ask....have you ever been to the range and actually SHOT a gun? GREAT FUN!! America was built on our FANTASTIC gun rights! GO AMERICA!

    January 27, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. JoeT

    Why not a state gun– they already have a state religion, and as anyone in Tehran will tell you, guns and religion go together like jihad and terrorists.

    January 27, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. APD8605

    I can tell this is on CNN, and no offense to anyones political views. John Browning should be honored as a national hero. He was truely a visionary that I doubt this country will ever have the honor of having someone like him as a citizen. He invented many things that have protected this nation from her enemies for over 100 years, and the M2 Browning .50cal is still a personal favorite of troops. I feel this country lacks true patriots like him, and we need them more than ever.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  14. BathroomBano

    @Paul: I don't see any mormon uprising to expel all the cult like child (r) a p (e) ists or polygamists. Maybe not all mormons are bad but they certainly tolerate sick behavior simply because someone shares the same beliefs. There are many people in this country (white black and every religion) who tolerate the criminals among them simply because they look alike, think alike or worship the same religion. If you don't like being lumped in with sickos then stand up against them to distinguish yourself as something different. Otherwise shut your whiny mouth.

    January 27, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • APD8605

      I wish you would look into this more, of followers of the mormon faith, perhaps .1% are cult extremist wackjobs that practice polygamy. The Mormon Church condemns such activities and polygamy is actually against thier scripture.
      Please refrain from religious hate in public venues, it only makes you look like an uneducated fool.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Mormonandproud

      Obviously you don't know anything about Mormons (really Latter Day Saints or LDS) who dont practice, promote, or tolerate polygamy in any way, shape, or form. Those that practice it ar different religions that have broken off from the Lds church and change a many teaching and doctrines from the real Lds church.

      January 27, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MajN

    A state symbol is a defining characteristic of that particular region, cultural, etc... Bestowing this honorable recognition upon a weapons manufacture is a complete misemployment of the Utah General Assembly. Utah is an amazing state that offers astonishing accomplishments of inspiration. The manufacture and use of a weapon, regardless of the domicile of the developer, is not one of these marvels. As a career soldier I have developed a life-long appreciation for the value of my issued weapon. It is a means to accomplishing my job, not an emblem to be honored. Look a little harder Utah, you’re selling yourself short.

    January 27, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
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