Senate gives initial OK to establish state firearm
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It appears to be a lock that Utah will be the first state in the nation to recognize an official state firearm.

On a party-line vote, the Senate gave its initial approval Wednesday to the measure to recognize the Browning M1911, meaning it will likely come up for final passage by the week's end and be sent to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

The measure recognizes the M1911, a semiautomatic pistol used by the Army during World War I and by various police departments and others since.

Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Eagle Mountain, called it "an opportunity to lead ... to honor one of Utah's founding pioneers, one of its native sons."

The M1911 is probably Utah gunmaker John Moses Browning's most famous invention.

Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City, questioned why the state is taking such action.

"Usually, all of these designations come to us from elementary schools," he said. "I'm wondering, with this discussion we're having … why we're not emblazoning this logo on our state flag, or maybe arming the bees on our state flag."

Utah has two dozen other "official" items, including a state fruit, vegetable and cooking pot.

gehrke@sltrib.com