Congressman pulls loaded gun at meeting, says he's 'not going to be a Gabby Giffords'

South Carolina Congressman, U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (L); U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords (R). 

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) -- The husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is speaking out against comments made by a South Carolina congressman who pulled out his own loaded handgun at a meeting with constituents, and said he was "not going to be a Gabby Giffords." 

News outlets report that Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman's comments were made Friday at a restaurant in Rock Hill where he placed his .38-caliber gun on a table. 

Giffords, a Democrat, was shot and wounded outside a grocery store during a constituent gathering in 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. 

In a statement, Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, called Norman an extremist who relies on intimidation tactics and perpetuates fear. 

In the years since the shooting, Giffords and Kelly have advocated for gun control laws aimed at reducing gun violence. 

The South Carolina congressman pulled out the loaded weapon to make a point that guns are dangerous only in the hands of criminals.

News outlets report Republican Rep. Norman placed the .38-caliber gun on a table during Friday's meeting at a Rock Hill restaurant.

Norman said he'll display his gun at future constituent meetings.

School teacher Lori Carter of Charlotte, North Carolina, said she thought the move was contradictory because there was nothing to prevent her from grabbing the gun and Norman didn't know if someone there didn't have a mental health issue.