ALBANY – Carl Paladino acknowledges, in his words, that he can be “impulsive.”

So after he finished talking to reporters on the third floor of the State Capitol on Tuesday morning, he couldn’t resist giving New York Post state columnist Fred Dicker the middle finger as he walked by his office.

Dicker got into a verbal shouting match with Paladino – in full view of television cameras – in Lake George during the Buffalo businessman’s 2010 Republican gubernatorial campaign. The incident happened after Paladino accused then-Democratic candidate Andrew M. Cuomo of having an extramarital affair. Since Cuomo became governor two years ago, he has regularly used Dicker’s morning Albany radio show to get his messages out.

Paladino was at the Capitol on Tuesday to speak at a rally by gun owners opposed to New York’s new gun-control laws. He gestured to Dicker through the glass wall separating the Post’s office from the third-floor hallway.

Near the beginning of Tuesday’s radio show, Dicker said that if Paladino owns a gun, he might have to give it up because of a mental health provision in the new law that requires health professionals to report on patients who might be a threat to themselves or others. Dicker said the provision might apply to Paladino “because of the nature of comments he makes,” which he called “threatening, menacing comments” against people.

“He has this thug quality to him, and apparently he hasn’t grown up since he was running around the state menacing people a couple years ago,” the Post columnist said.

In an email comment, Dicker said of Paladino, “His crudeness speaks for itself.”

Paladino declined to comment.