Utah becomes first in US to have state gun
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has become the first state in the country to designate an official state firearm, despite protests from people who believe it’s inappropriate because of recent mass shootings.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert recently signed the bill to make the Browning M1911 semiautomatic pistol the official state gun.
Republican Rep. Carl Wimmer, sponsor of the bill, says the state should have the gun as one of its state symbols to honor John Browning, a Utah native who invented it in 1911.
Opponents say the selection is inappropriate given that people who opened fire in many recent U.S. mass shootings used semiautomatic pistols.
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.