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

    Jeff I think the Glock is German or something. I totally agree though. Perhaps this country wouldn't be so bad if our fearless leaders stopped voting on state cooking pots and started voting on sound domestic policy. Too much to ask of someone who makes 6 figures on my dime I know. Stupid me.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Henry Miller

    Excellent choice! I love my Gold Cup match 1911–it's the most accurate handgun I've ever owned, and that's a longish list.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ThomasD

    Heya Phil. A town on skids, huh? Nice idea.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JeanClaudeVanDarn

    Honestly I'd be fired if I behaved as dumb as these geriatric infantile sycophants. *drool* "Yay! State pot! Yay!! I've got mail yay!!!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Eric M

    Okay, speaking as a person that's never voted for a republican in his life? (short life, but still)

    I'm okay with this.

    The M1911 is a freaking legendary pistol that was the Army's standard issue sidearm from WW1 through Vietnam and has a definite place in our history.

    Yes, its a gun. But a weapon being used, mostly unchanged, for over 70 years? That makes it worthy of note.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jerry

    The gun is a "Colt M1911", not a "Browning". It may have been designed by Browning based on the M1905 model but it's never been known as anything other than a "Colt". Period.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • jimzcarz

      Finally, someone else noticed that..I thought I was losing my mind.
      I had a COLT "Combat Commander" 1911

      January 27, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. JeanClaudeVanDarn

    I guess all the Utonians left.... Couldn't handle a bit of truth. Thought they were tough gun totin' common folk?

    January 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Hay! ThomasD...it's a true story. Mike Wallace of the old 60min. news show even did a special about it several years ago.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff Frank

    @JeanClaude Van Darn...Thanks. I don't know what Arizonas' position is on "conceal and carry". But I do know Mr. Loughners little showdown may have been put to an end a little sooner.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LouWho

    I don't care how you Bringham, just bring'em Young !

    January 26, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jrm03063

    Isn't the service history of the M2 a little more impressive in its way? It's still in the inventory and there isn't much risk of folks running out and buying one for laughs.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GunsDontKill-AmericansDo

    ....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." ..... That is the problem right there. Guns are a weapon... end of discussion. Weapons provide you with protection; they only provide you with the perception of freedom. Where I come from, I live in freedom because I don't have to wonder if the guy behind me at the drugstore has a loaded weapon.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • AR Ace

      Tis true... whereever you live you probably don't have to wonder... the guy behind you likely has a gun and because he isn't allowed by your socialist government... nobody knows until he starts robbing the place. Countries that don't allow guns only put them in the hands of criminals and not the law abiding folks....

      January 27, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Philip

    Maybe the .30 '06 should be adopted by Virgina then. We here in Colorado are more than happy with our State Flower, the Columbine. It's illegal to pick them due to our respect for what they symbolize: Colorful Colorado. Utah could make it illegal to pick this pistol, but they don't have that much respect for their State (nor mental state i would imagine after reading this story). Plus, if they did, then they would have to make it illegal to gather honey. Utah is "The Bee-Hive State" after all. Really, that's what they call it. he he

    January 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • RommelAOE

      I see that you are attending Troll University, who is your professor?

      January 26, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jrm03063

    Then I think the New Hampshire state gun should be the Brown Bess – since our first act in the Revolution was to steal a bunch of them from the Regulars at New Castle, NH. Their next appearance being on the Mystic River bank w/Stark!

    January 26, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Moe

    That's one sweet piece.

    January 26, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
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