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. Alec

    "we're glorifying an implement of freedom that has defended us for 100 years." This country has never been invaded btw, did we use this gun to win the battle of pearl harbor or something? Implement of freedom? America is far from the 'free country' it thinks it is.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |

    arriba!! i thought it was the chimmi-chongo chulpua supa shoota..

    actually i've been working on a mexican gun, it's just a big version of those guns that fired the plastic frisbe-style rings.. cept this one is much larger and fires metal disk and severs heads.

    im gonna call it the 'mouy grande cabeza eraser'

    January 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    Liberals should love this idea...after all the M1911 has only a 7 shot magazine, which is far less than the Glock used in the Tuscon shootings.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NamVet

    Would that mean that shootings in Utah could on be done with the state firearm? Wouldn't want anyone to get hurt with an illegal weapon.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BathroomCop

    I think prerequisites for being a NASCAR state should include: Busch as the state beer, cheap tobacco, a southern dialect that at times is not well understood, a 2:1 bible to school book ratio, and a xenophobic populous. Simply having a track doesn't count. Every state probably has horse tracks too.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Daryn

    If guns don't kill people, I guess bombs don't kill them either, neither do landmines, and neither do artillery shells. I have never seen someone use a gun to deflect a bullet, so how do they protect you? A big locked gate, that's defensive. A concrete barrier, that's defensive. A bullet proof vest, that's defensive. A gun is not a defense. A gun is nothing until used and then it is purely offensive, not a speck of defense to be found.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |

      the best defense is a good offense. let me ask you this..

      if you were a goodlooking girl in mexico would you rather have a gun or bullet proof vest?

      or why do bank guards need a gun if there purely offensive? you dont think they discourage crime?

      January 26, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Pointless1

    I think gun safety courses should be mandatory and all US citizens can carry one openly just like in the good ol' west.. you'll think twice...

    January 26, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Edward

    Best post I have read on CNN in 2011 thus far! This wonderful invention aided us in taking down the Nazi regime! It helped liberate Auschwitz, and many similar camps, and have been protecting homeowners for 100 years!

    January 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JeanClaudeVanDarn

    Alec Baldwin? Schwetty Balls? Is that you?

    January 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Pistolero

    we don't have a national gun here in Mexico.Anyone caught with a gun will spend the rest of their lives in jail. therefore we buy our guns from the biggest gun producers in the world! the good old USA

    January 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. american me

    So the backward, dimwitted bigots (mostly MORmONS) in that cesspool of a state Utah think that gays are a problem, but that every redneck there should be allowed to own an assault weapon? What idiots.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • RommelAOE

      1) Calling someone a bigot while at the same time calling them "backward, dimwitted bigots (mostly MORmONS) in that cesspool", stay classy.
      2) "Assault weapon" is not a relative term, they're called semi-automatic rifles, can you say "semi-automatic rifle"? muy buena

      January 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DirtySanchez

    Si eets time to seal los borders essay! No mas narco y pistola traffico.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. james

    OH MAGNIFICENT!!! That'll make the liberals angry. Any tme you can do that it's worthwhile.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robin Bray


      January 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • RommelAOE

      @Robin Bray
      Calling someone an "idioy" while not being able to spell a simple 5 letter word, oh the irony, the hipsters will love this.

      January 26, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Robin Bray

    It's a state with nothing to boast about. Ask them about the Mountain Meadow Massacre and the church's leaders involvement. They will always lie about the truth of that matter in the brutal killing of more American civilians until 9/11, fact. Maybe those guns and knives used then should be the state weapons of choice.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alec

      nothing to boast about, hrm... ever go skiing, how about the most wild and amazing desert landscape in the world...

      January 27, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Allen L Wenger

    Maybe they need a state knife or a state drug or a state poison. How about a state racial slur? These people are idiots.

    January 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
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