Utah bill designating state gun goes to House

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House is debating the designation of an automatic pistol as the official state gun amid protest from a group who says it would be inappropriate because of recent mass shootings.

Republican Rep. Carl Wimmer of Herriman told a House committee Monday the state should have the Browning M1911 automatic pistol as one of its state symbols. Wimmer says it would honor John Browning, a Utah native who invented the gun.

The committee passed the bill.

Gun Violence Prevention Center board member Steve Gunn says honoring the M1911 is wrong because mass shootings in the U.S. were done with 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.


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