- The Washington Times - Monday, February 23, 2015

Minnesota state Rep. Tony Cornish says the al-Shabaab threat against the Mall of America should be enough to motivate mall owners to drop their “no guns” policy so citizens can protect themselves.

Mr. Cornish, a Republican who also chairs the House Public Safety Committee, said the Mall of America has interpreted state concealed carry laws incorrectly, and he’s intent on challenging them for it, a local CBS affiliate reported.

“This is completely ridiculous. The complete opposite of what they should be doing,” he said. “If we’re threatened with an attack, the last thing you want to do is disarm citizens.”

The Republican’s comments come after a tweet sent from the Mall of America’s Twitter account said, “The mall bans all guns from the premises, you’ll note this clearly at each entrance door.”

Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabab issued a video Sunday threatening to bomb the Bloomington-based mall, along with other shopping centers in the U.S. and Canada.

Bryan Strawser, executive director of the Minnesota Gun Owners Political Action Committee, said “the current threat environment makes it unconscionable to seek to prohibit self-defense by the mall’s customers,” the Star Tribune reported.

“The Mall of America has long had a policy to prohibit lawful carry of firearms by Minnesotans,” he said, “including posting signs throughout the mall and removing permit holders seen to be carrying firearms.”

Mr. Strawser said Minnesota law prohibits a landlord, such as the Mall of America, from restricting the “lawful carry or possession of firearms by tenants or their guests,” the Star Tribune reported.

“Carrying at the Mall of America does not violate the law, only the mall’s wishes,” he said.

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