The state's leading supporter of gun rights was called a "bully" by a citizen on the other side of the issue.

The gun supporter, Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, made disparaging remarks to WCCO-TV last week about Rep. Michael Paymar, DFL-ST. Paul, and other supporters of limits on gun-carrying at the Capitol.

The citizen, Gary Thompson of St. Paul  took exception to those statements and said so at a hearing of the Advisory Committee on Capitol Security on Tuesday.

Cornish comments last week were: "It's not the the gun owners of Minnesota’s fault if Representative Paymar and his colleagues feel they have to wet their pants every time they hear the word 'gun' or see one."

At Tuesday's hearing, Thompson said, "Representative Cornish is a bully ... I believe he is the highest form of hypocritical armed legislator, who chooses to intimidate...." Thompson said Cornish should apologize for insulting those "who disagree with his positions on guns." 

In an email response, Cornish said Thompson has sometimes been "confrontational" at gun hearings, and added, "I've been called worse.. In all the hearings and gun talk, it really seems to me that these people are the ones who are angry and looking for trouble."

Cornish says he is usually armed at the Capitol but keeps his concealed, and was carrying a .40 caliber Glock at Tuesday's hearing.


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