Utah Becomes First State to Adopt Official Gun Browning M1911 pistol gets the honors By Luke Kelly-Clyne, Newser Staff Posted Mar 19, 2011 12:53 PM CDT 24 comments Comments Utah Governor Gary Herbert, left, holds a Browning automatic pistol given to him by Christopher Browning, right, great-grandson of John M. Browning. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Scott Sommerdorf) (Newser) – What do a Dutch oven, a honeybee, and an eight-round M1911 pistol have in common? All three appear on the 25-item list of Utah state symbols. The M1911 semi-automatic pistol became a state identifier this week after Gov. Gary Herbert signed the measure into law, making Utah the first state with an official gun, reports CNN. The designation honors its Utah-born designer, John M. Browning. Lawmakers took flak for pushing the measure through in the wake of the Tucson shooting spree. "There was more controversy than I anticipated, but it really passed with bipartisan support," said the GOP lawmaker who sponsored the measure. "Certainly meaning no disrespect to the tragedy in Arizona, we moved forward in doing this because it's the only opportunity that we had."