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House OKs bill recognizing Colt as state gun

This undated file photo provided by the Texas State Historical Association shows a Colt Single Action Army Revolver dated to 1881. Arizona is considering making the handgun that was popular in the West in the late 19th century the state's official firearm, with almost half the state's lawmakers co-sponsoring a bill honoring the single-action Army revolver. (AP Photo/Texas State Historical Association via the Dallas Morning News) MANDATORY CREDIT, NO SALES, MAGS OUT, TV OUT

This undated file photo provided by the Texas State Historical Association shows a Colt Single Action Army Revolver dated to 1881. Arizona is considering making the handgun that was popular in the West in the late 19th century the state's official firearm, with almost half the state's lawmakers co-sponsoring a bill honoring the single-action Army revolver. (AP Photo/Texas State Historical Association via the Dallas Morning News)

The Arizona House gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a bill that recognizes the Colt revolver as the state’s official firearm despite several attempts by a lawmaker to have the Legislature instead endorse two weapons made by Arizona companies.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego asked House members in two different proposals to consider the Taser stun gun — made by a Scottsdale company — and the Ruger SR 9, which is manufactured by a Prescott-based company.

“It’s a great opportunity to highlight an Arizona-based company,” he said.

The Colt Single-Action Army revolver is manufactured by a Connecticut company.

Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth said the purpose of the Colt bill wasn’t to help drive a manufacturer’s sales, but simply to recognize the role of the firearm in the state’s history.

But Democratic Rep. Albert Hale said he opposed the bill because adoption of a firearm simply “honors an instrument of destruction.”

“Stand for respect, stand for peace,” Hale said. “Let’s honor peace instead of destruction.”

Gun-control advocates previously denounced the measure as insulting because of the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a former Arizona legislator.

Hale, who is of Navajo descent, said the destructive effects can be traced to the state’s pioneer days when the firearm brought suffering to Native Americans.

The Arizona Senate has already passed the bill. The House must take one more vote on the measure before it can be sent to Gov. Jan Brewer.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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