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. Malakas

    What a SICK country we've become! To glorify and elevate a killing device like this is absolutely uncivilized and cheapens humanity.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      "What a SICK country we've become! To glorify and elevate a killing device like this is absolutely uncivilized and cheapens humanity."

      No one is forcing you to stay here. Cuba might like someone like you.

      January 27, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      The 1911 in the hands of U.S. servicemen helped liberate Europe twice. What does an criminal with a gun have anything to do with this. If I was a criminal and going to rob a house I would definitly rob Philip's because he will give me his debit card with his pin and thank me at the end.

      January 27, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bob

    Sweet. And it's a .45. Good choice.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Wzrd1

      Well, I'd accept Ma Deuce as a second, THAT is still in the military inventory.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Philip

    Over 350,000 of US died last year from taking medications that were accidently prescribed. Ban medicine? No. But we should prosecute these kind of mistakes just like we should prosecute someone for killing the guy who was just stealing your tv. The penalty for breaking and entering is NOT the death penalty. The "make my day" law is ignorance at it's worst.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Wyomingite

      Make my day laws send a clear message: You do not enter someone else's home without permission. Take my beloved Wyoming for example. State statue has a castle domain law, and viola! Wyoming has the lowest breaking and entering crimes per capita in the US. The law has only been invoked a couple of times in the last 30 years or so too.

      January 27, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Louis

    of course they would

    January 27, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. Edward

    For the past seven years I have dealt with a mentally ill person who has repeatedly threatened to kill me with a gun. A judge I am dealing with does not believe in "mental illness." I have complained to the governor, every representative, and the police. No one in the state can even be bothered to tell this person "You cannot threaten to kill people" In the state of utah it is ok to do it. The state of Utah appears to care more about the rights of gun toting maniacs, than of someone that is trying to protect his family. I need help with dealing with a bad situation before it turns into another tucson, not someone glorifying the gun industry.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • SteveG

      Edward, you're a firsthand witness of the State's unwilling/inability to protect you and your loved ones from someone who is threatening you with a gun. Perhaps now you will realize that when seconds count, the police are minutes away. You might even realize that, ultimately, *you* are responsible for protecting yourself and those you care about. With that in mind, you might want to consider purchasing and learning to use a tool that will improve your ability to protect yourself and your loved ones. Might I suggest a Browning-designed 1911-A1?

      January 27, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. TripleA

    A state gun?! This idea may catch on. Since everything is bigger in Texas, I bet they choose the 16inch/50caliber Mk7 main gun on the Iowa class battleships for their state gun.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Randall

    Gun smoke State.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Admit it. You carry a handgun because you are afraid of something the rest of US aren't afraid of.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. Spence

    The M1911 is a fine weapon! Had one in the Army. Prefer a double action though, personally.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. Philip

    We are all afraid of being robbed. But we aren't all paranoid about it like those who carry handguns.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. YBP

    Oh, this is a fine, upstanding, and clearly "Christian" way of responding to the tragedy in Arizona (and I don't know how many other mass shootings in the past few years). This country is nothing like what it's supposed to be, or what it claims to be...falsely. It's filled with fat, stupid, ignorant, degenerate blow-hards who will never ever amount to anything worthy of being called American. Wake up, America...because you are in a downward spiral.

    January 27, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    All of us are afraid gangstersmightl break into our homes while we are asleep. But not to the point of paranoia, where we would consider pulling out a gun and turning a simple robbery into a homicide with our own children caught in the crossfire.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. 4martin@gmail.com

    Joseph Smith Batallion, Brigham Young's avenging angel, Mountain Meadows Massacre... that makes sense

    January 27, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • B-Girl

      Not to excuse such tragedies, but don't forget to study about Haun's Mill, Far West, and the Extermination Order.

      January 27, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bryce

    I am a Mormon living in Utah and I think having a state gun is ridiculously dumb. It is more embarrassing then anything else.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I have the gun, what do I have to be afraid of.

      What is so wrong with taking responsibility for one's own safety?

      January 27, 2011 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Erasmus

    YBP, your amount of ignorance and hate is astounding.

    January 27, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
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