Lawmaker’s gun goes off at Capitol Annex

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January 8, 2014
Lawmaker’s gun goes off at Capitol Annex

By RONNIE ELLIS CNHI

FRANKFORT — Rep. Leslie Combs, D-Pikeville, accidentally discharged her handgun in her Capitol Annex office Tuesday afternoon while another lawmaker was present.

No one was injured and Combs faces no charges stemming from the incident.

“I accidentally discharged a firearm in my legislative office in the Capitol Annex,” Combs said in a statement. “No one was hurt or in harm’s way and I followed standard safety procedures when this accident occurred.”

Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, was seated in Combs’ office at the time the gun went off. Greer said he was never in danger.

“She was unloading the gun and had removed the clip,” Greer explained. “But apparently there was still a round in the chamber and she followed safety procedure and pointed the gun down and away before it discharged.”

According to Sgt. Jason Palmer, head of Kentucky State Police Legislative Security, the firearm was a Kruger LCP .380 automatic pistol. Combs purchased the gun last year from fellow lawmaker, Rep. John Short, D-Hindman, a licensed gun dealer.

Greer said the bullet struck the floor, causing carpet fibers to swirl in the air, and ricocheted into a bookcase. He said he was startled by the discharge but never thought he was in any danger.

Combs said she has had a concealed-carry weapon permit for several years “to better protect my safety as I travel widely and sometimes at night.”

The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. EST Tuesday but security officers weren’t contacted until around 4:30 p.m. when Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, called and asked they investigate the incident.

“I’m not sure why they didn’t call us when it happened,” Palmer said when asked about the two-hour delay.

He said Combs faces no charges over the incident.

“It’s legal for lawmakers to carry a weapon anywhere in the Capitol if they have a concealed carry license,” Palmer said. He confirmed Greer’s account that the bullet hit the floor and eventually lodged in the bookcase.

Stumbo later said by law Combs or any other lawmaker with a license to carry a weapon may carry it onto the House floor. Non-lawmakers who have a license may carry a weapon in the Capitol but are not permitted to bring the weapon into the gallery area. No one, even lawmakers, is permitted to carry a weapon into the Supreme Court’s chambers.

“Leslie, I know, is very concerned and probably somewhat embarrassed,” Stumbo said. “It was an unfortunate incident, what the state police call an unintentional discharge, and thank God nobody was hurt.”

Stumbo said he doesn’t know how many lawmakers are armed during the General Assembly sessions, but he said he has a permit and he knows others who do.

Greer said he isn’t one of them, although he has a permit too.

“I don’t pack,” Greer said. “But I have a number of friends up here who do.”

Stumbo said he sees no reason to change the law which allows lawmakers to be armed in the capitol or on the chamber floors.

“I don’t see anything that needs to be changed,” he said. “I mean, it was an unintentional discharge. I think it’s good policy that people like Leslie, females who work here late, have to go to their cars or functions, sometimes are traveling by themselves have a right to carry a weapon and protect themselves.”

Rep. Rita Smart, D-Richmond, was in her office in the same suite when Combs’ gun fired.

“Well, it created some excitement for a few minutes,” Smart said. “But it was sort of like a fitting way to end our day.”

Smart had earlier that day made a floor speech defending the actions of a committee charged with investigating allegations of sexual harassment against a former lawmaker.

Combs said she is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and the state’s concealed-carry law, “and believe just as strongly that gun safety and education must be part of that equation.

“I urge everyone to be extremely cautious with their firearm,” she said. “I know from personal experience how easy it is to discharge a firearm accidentally.”

Combs has been mentioned as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor on a Democratic ticket with Attorney General Jack Conway.
 

OK what do i see wrong here is First she removed the CLIP i think she removed the MAG ? followed ALL SAFETY PROCEDURE except for finger off the trigger. She had a Kruger LCP. I am not going to blame her for that that may be a reporters error. She is CCDW permit holder and was unloading her gun mid-day at work. It took security 3 hrs to even investigate what happened and that is after there was a call put it to do so.
 
Amazing...the gun just went off! Not her fault...she followed all safety procedures. Yea right. At least she pointed the gun in a safe direction when she PULLED THE TRIGGER!
Seriously, this is the kind of story that keeps people that are not knowledgeable about guns scared of them. They think the gun has a mind of its own and will fire at will. Like I heard once, guns are safe if you keep your nose picker off the bang switch.

Well at least a democrat carries...
 
She did NOT follow proper safety procedures. Clearing a weapon requires the ammunition source to be removed, in this case the magazine, and the action to be opened to eject any round in the chamber. At the range it would then be pointed down range or in a safe direction and the trigger pulled. In this office environment the trigger should not have been pulled. Instead the slide should have been locked to the rear and left open until she was ready to reload.
 
I believe she pulled the trigger intentionally to lower the hammer. By "following procedure" they were saying she aimed it down and away. My assumption, she racked the slide, and then removed the mag (or clip doesn't bother me), and failed to realize those two steps were backwards, then pointed the firearm down and away and pulled the trigger intentionally to lower the hammer and....bang!

I feel the culprit here was complacency, our worst enemy.

Points in the article that make no sense to me:
1. What does it matter that she bought it from a gun store, instead of a private owner?
2. How did the author not google "Kruger LCP" and find the actual firearm "Ruger LCP"...
3. While the discharge may have been unintentional, it was in no way accidental, it was negligent.
4. Permits are stupid.
 
I believe she pulled the trigger intentionally to lower the hammer. By "following procedure" they were saying she aimed it down and away. My assumption, she racked the slide, and then removed the mag (or clip doesn't bother me), and failed to realize those two steps were backwards, then pointed the firearm down and away and pulled the trigger intentionally to lower the hammer and....bang!

I feel the culprit here was complacency, our worst enemy.

I believe it was stupidity. Or ignorance. And they really can't say for sure that nobody was in danger. If a gun goes off unintentionally or unplanned, it does put people in danger.
There's a lot of unanswered questions here and it sounds to me like initially they were looking for a way to hide it.
But this lady was a democrat. Can't imagine she even had one.
 
My face is in my palm and I let out a loud groan.

Negligence- keep the booger finger off the bang stick
I'd love to know about the new German Kruger.
Why was she unloading her firearm in the middle of the day with someone else in her office?
Why did she wait so long to inform security?
How does a gun go off in the Capitol and NO ONE ELSE called security?
How does one follow ALL safety procedures and still have a negligent discharge?
How is it that one democrat sold a firearm to another democrat? (ok, that one was tongue-in-cheek)

And, because she is one of America's elite citizen's nothing will happen to her for firing her weapon in the Capitol.
 
what's the difference between an unintentional discharge into a floor that ricochets into a bookcase and one that ricochets into a person?

The mind set of the person handling the firearm is exactly the same in both cases.

Should the errant firearm's owner be charged with manslaughter or negligent homicide in the second example if the person dies? Why should results matter if what we want to do is punish the actor for the act?
 
I believe it was stupidity. Or ignorance. And they really can't say for sure that nobody was in danger. If a gun goes off unintentionally or unplanned, it does put people in danger.
There's a lot of unanswered questions here and it sounds to me like initially they were looking for a way to hide it.
But this lady was a democrat. Can't imagine she even had one.

Complacency = stupidity + ignorance + more.

Sent from my HTCONE using USA Carry mobile app
 
Yeah, I saw it reported on another site and it was correctly stated as a Ruger LCP. But that doesn't make HER any smarter.
I'm thinking it was the reporter. I was just making a joke about K Mart. It's unlikely the reporter got their info directly from Combs anyway.
 
The guy says she followed safety procedures as if she saved the freakin DAY by pointing it at the floor JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME!!!
 
Right as usual 2Awarrior. If she was practicing safe firearm handling she would not have had a negligent discharge. I was in the capitol building not long ago. Glad she didn't shoot ME!
 
Right as usual 2Awarrior. If she was practicing safe firearm handling she would not have had a negligent discharge. I was in the capitol building not long ago. Glad she didn't shoot ME!

Not that you could have done anything about it.... your rights as a citizen were revoked while in the Capitol, while the elitist pig got to carry her firearm.

But, yes, I'm glad you did not get shot either. :smile:
 
Link Removed

Apparently, she is still sticking by the idea that it was an accident, accidents go off even when following ALL safety procedures. :confused:

Also, at the end she claims it was an "automatic" and she should probably get a revolver. :confused:

Does this woman know anything about firearms?
 
Not that you could have done anything about it.... your rights as a citizen were revoked while in the Capitol, while the elitist pig got to carry her firearm.

But, yes, I'm glad you did not get shot either. :smile:

Actually, in the Kentucky state capitol anyone with a CC permit can carry!
 
Actually, in the Kentucky state capitol anyone with a CC permit can carry!

If you have to have a permit its not a Right so your privilege wasn't infringed upon...your Right has been gone well before the capitol revoked it.

Sent from my HTCONE using USA Carry mobile app
 
Actually, in the Kentucky state capitol anyone with a CC permit can carry!

I should have realized this was the state capitol when the KSP arrived. My mistake.

Even still, if you walk into the KY state capitol they make you wear a red sticker so all know you have a firearm.

*rolls eyes*
 

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