MNGOP Rep. Tony Cornish, author of "deadly force" bill, thinks Byron Smith is a murderer

Cornish, a strong backer of gun rights, characterized Byron Smith's actions as "haywire."
Cornish, a strong backer of gun rights, characterized Byron Smith's actions as "haywire."

Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, is one of Minnesota's staunchest gun rights advocates. In fact, last legislative session, he authored a "deadly force" bill that would've dramatically expanded the range of situations in which gun owners could lawfully use deadly force (the bill was ultimately vetoed by Gov. Dayton).

SEE ALSO: Rep. Chip Cravaack says guns in the audience would've prevented Aurora shootings [VIDEO]

So you might've expected him to be among the voices reluctant to call Byron Smith, the former State Department worker who shot to death two Little Falls teens that had apparently broke into his home on Thanksgiving, a murderer. But apparently Cornish's support of gun rights only goes so far.

From WCCO:

Cornish told WCCO's Chad Hartman Tuesday that Smith's actions, based on police reports, seemed to exceed the necessary force to stop a perceived threat.

"You could feasibly see (Smith) mounting a defense for the first shot," Cornish said. "But after that initial one shot then he went completely out of the realm of reality and executed two helpless people."

Cornish said based on police reports, and Smith's own statements to investigators, it seems Smith went "haywire."

Cornish offered another noteworthy tidbit during his interview with Hartman. After Dayton vetoed his "deadly force" bill last March, Cornish said he planned to keep introducing the bill each legislative session until it became law. But in the wake of the ass kicking the MNGOP took earlier this month, he's apparently reconsidered.

Asked by Hartman how likely it is that he'll push for the "deadly force" bill against this session, Cornish said there's "zero" chance.

"It's dead on arrival," Cornish said. "I'm not going to spin my wheels when I know something isn't going to come to fruition."

But his 'zero percent' stance is based on pragmatics, not principle.

"What I'm going to do is just wait for a more friendly legislative body and governor down the road," Cornish added, visions of a 2014 MNGOP resurgence likely dancing through his head.

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