Some think having a state flower is silly, but a state gun? Republican state Rep. Carl Wimmer wants to honor the memory of Utah resident John Browning, who invented the semiautomatic pistol in 1911.
“He invented a firearm that has defended American values and the traditions of this country for 100 years,” Wimmer told the House Political Subdivisions Committee.
Utah has 24 state symbols recognizing the history, geography and culture of the state. They include a state cooking pot, a state tree, a state hymn and a state folk dance.
The committee approved the bill to add a state gun on a 9-2 vote.
The M1911 is the kind of gun — a semiautomatic pistol — that was used in the Arizona tragedy. But Republicans in Utah see it as a positive symbol.
Republican Rep. Stephen Sandstrom told the committee that recognizing the M1911 is an appropriate honor for Browning. Instead of the gun being blamed for killing people, it should be credited for saving lives on the battlefield, Sandstrom said.