For those that don't know Representative Tony Cornish, itdoesn't take long to realize he is passionate about guns and gun rights. So itis no surprise Cornish had some opinions when state legislators heard testimonyon proposals that would tighten background checks; toughen penalties for felonscaught with guns and ban assault weapons and high–capacity ammunitionmagazines.
Cornish said, "We aren't going to compromise at all onthe ban of guns or the ban of magazines or overall registration"
That is because Cornish said he doesn't believe bills likethat, which were introduced at this weeks meetings, will solve any problems.
Cornish said, "When you look at Chicago, when morepeople were killed last year than were in Afghanistan and they've got thetoughest gun control laws, you just aren't a gun nut when you think fun controldoesn't work, it's just common sense."
Cornish said he is willing to compromise on increased mentalhealth regulations.
Cornish said, "To keep bad people from getting guns andI think increased penalties for crimes committed with guns, better informationon repeated offenders, and crimes of violence being included in the people whocan't have guns."
But he said mention of banning guns is slowing down progress.
Cornish said, "That kept them I think from making progress,it was just a big over reach."
No votes were taken at the Information hearings...Rep.Michael Paymar, the St. Paul Democrat who chaired the hearings in the House, saidhe and his committee will pick which bills should go into a gun violencepackage, which he plans to introduce in early March.
Cornish said, "I really don't expect it to make it outof committee because there are even DFL–ers on the other side who are worriedabout how far this bill is going."
Whether you agree or disagree with Cornish, there is nodebating that the right to bear arms versus public safety concerns willcontinue to crowd the capitol landscape.
The Minnesota Senate is expected to hold its gun hearingsstarting February the week of 18th.