(KCPW News) The M1911 handgun will likely be Utah’s official firearm, after a bill designating it as a state symbol passed the Senate this morning. The pistol was designed by Ogden native John M. Browning. Republican Senator Daniel Thatcher said he supports the bill in the interest of education.
“How many school children are going to see that Utah has a state firearm and wonder why. Will it lead them to be interested enough to look up and research the history of one of Utah’s founders?” said Thatcher. “Will it be interesting enough to lead them to the same research that I read last night thanks to this bill? I hope that it will.”
Thatcher said the firearm designation sets Utah apart as a unique and interesting place.
But Democratic Senator Ross Romero argued that’s not a good reason to designate a gun as a state symbol.
“I don’t think that it does send the right message to other states and I say that recognizing that we honored and recognized the Browning family last year,” said Romero. “I think that was appropriate. I think the contributions of the individuals and their inventions are important. But to designate a state firearm, I think, is not necessary.”
The bill passed on a strictly party-line vote, with Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it. The House has already passed the bill.