State firearm --The House Political Subdivisions Committee passed out favorably a bill to make the Browning M1911 semi-automatic pistol as Utah's official firearm.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, was brought before the committee on the day designated by Gov. Gary Herbert as John M. Browning Day. Browning was a Utah native in the late 1800s who started the Browning Gun company and is seen to many in the Legislature as one of the great Utahns in history.
"John M. Browning has single-handedly saved more lives on the battlefield than any other person," said Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem.
Even though the bill passed with a 9-2 favorable vote, there were still some in the audience who felt that adopting a semi-automatic gun as a state symbol wasn't the right thing to do at this time.
One public speaker against the bill, Steve Gunn, argued that semi-automatic guns are the choice weapon for those who are committing massacre. He continued to argue that in the wake of shootings in Arizona, Virginia Tech and Ft. Hood, Gunn asked, "Is this the time to be adopting the symbol of the state, a weapon that has been used for such terrible acts?"
The bill will now move on to the full body of the House for their consideration.