Too soon? In a head-scratching move, Utah’s 24 existing state symbols—a blue spruce tree, honeybee, and Dutch oven among then—will now be joined by an official state firearm: the John M. Browning-designed M1911 pistol. Yes, Utah has become the first state in the nation to boast an official state firearm, says Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who signed the new symbol into law this week. Herbert chose this particular firearm because the gun maker, Browning, was born and raised in Ogden, Utah. The move has raised controversy since it was pushed through even after January’s gun rampage in Tucson, Arizona, which killed six and wounded 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. “People say the timing is terrible, and I admit the timing is terrible,” said Utah State Rep. Carl Wimmer, a Republican. “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 that we had."
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