Tags: Gun Control | guns | browning | firearms | state gun

Browning's Controversy: How Firearms Brand Stirred Up Debate

By    |   Wednesday, 29 April 2015 03:34 PM

John Moses Browning undoubtedly made waves throughout the firearms industry time and time again with his 128 patents for his designs. As a result, Browning is beloved by his home state of Utah and commemorated through the John M. Browning Firearms Museum in Ogden, which is part of The Union Station center.

The state also has an official John M. Browning holiday on January 24, which was signed into effect in 2010 by Governor Gary Herbert. According to the Utah Gun Collectors Association,the day featured an exhibit with the types of firearms invented by John M. Browning and a ceremony to honor him. During the celebration, Herbert gave Brown’s great-grandson Chris a proclamation.

But the outpouring of love and respect doesn’t end there. In 2011—the same year that the M1911, one of the most celebrated pistols of all time, turned 100 years old—Utah ruffled a lot of feathers by declaring a state gun. The M1911 became Utah’s 25th official state symbol alongside among others like its state tree, the blue spruce, and state insect, the honeybee. Yet this measure began a Browning controversy, made more divisive due to its timing around the Arizona shooting that injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

According to CNN, Republican State Rep. Carl Wimmer, a former police officer and SWAT team commander, “came up with the idea for a state firearm last year after hearing about how Pennsylvania lawmakers wanted to make the Pennsylvania long rifle its official state firearm.”

Although Pennsylvanians’ initial efforts to declare a state gun were shot down, they too were granted a state gun, the long rifle, in 2014. Four other states have followed Utah’s lead including Alaska, Indiana, West Virginia, and even Arizona.

Wimmer admitted to CNN that, “the timing is terrible. We have a part-time legislature in Utah, and we are only in session for 45 days. Certainly meaning no disrespect to the tragedy in Arizona, we moved forward in doing this because it’s the only opportunity we had.”

However, Wimmer was met with criticism from many, including his fellow State Representative Brian King, a Democrat. CNN reported that King said, “When we are talking about a state symbol we would do well to come up with one that is more unifying than divisive and this is a very divisive symbol for obvious reasons. This is just a poor choice for a state symbol.”

Regardless, Arizona followed suit just one month later, declaring the Colt Single Action Army revolver their state’s official gun.

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In 2011—the same year that the M1911, one of the most celebrated pistols of all time, turned 100 years old—Utah ruffled a lot of feathers by declaring a state gun.
guns, browning, firearms, state gun
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 03:34 PM
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