Utah House approves state gun designation
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House approved the designation of a semiautomatic pistol as the official state gun despite concerns about sending the wrong message in light of recent U.S. mass shootings.
Republican Rep. Carl Wimmer of Herriman says the Browning M1911 is historic because Utah native John Browning invented it. She says the state is recognizing Browning’s invention as a primary tool for defending American freedom and values.
House Bill 219 passed on a vote of 51 to 19. All 17 Democrats and two Republicans voted against it.
Democratic Minority Assistant Whip Brian King of Salt Lake City says guns are controversial and many people see them as tools of death.
He says honoring Browning in a different way, such as a statue, would be more appropriate.