Updated at 1:18 p.m.
A state lawmaker introduced legislation Monday that would bar people from bringing firearms to the Capitol.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Michael Paymar, comes on the heels of a report last month that found potential threats lurking around the Capitol Complex.
That report, which did not recommend barring guns, was spurred by the attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson this January.
"Back when Tucson happened ... I just thought if we do nothing, I just think that’s unconscionable," said Paymar, DFL-St. Paul.
Minnesota law allows people to carry guns at the State Capitol if they have a permit and inform the commissioner of public safety. Past news reports have found that about 400 people have permission to carry guns on the premises. His bill makes exemptions for law enforcement and military personnel.
Paymar remarked that some legislators are carrying guns onto the House and Senate floors. "Some of them do. I don't know exactly who, but I have some ideas," Paymar said.
One of them is Public Safety Committee Chairman Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, who called the bill a "terrible idea" and "dead on arrival" during an interview on the House floor Monday.
"It’s a longstanding practice to carry guns at the Capitol," said an armed Cornish, who is also a police chief. "And we’ve never had any problems with it."
The bill appropriates $6 million in bonding money for tunnel improvements and an unspecified amount for metal detectors. The report said the state should consider metal detectors at the Capitol, but did not explicitly recommend them.
Paymar said he's on the fence about whether the Capitol needs metal detectors, but thinks it's something legislators need to discuss. Cornish said he opposes metal detectors.