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Kentucky state lawmaker accidentally discharges gun in office

Jan. 9, 2014 at 12:06 PM

FRANKFORT, Ky., Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The accidental discharge of a gun in a Kentucky lawmaker's office in Frankfort sparked debate about whether guns should be restricted on Capitol grounds.

No one was injured when Rep. Leslie Combs accidentally fired her handgun Tuesday while unloading it in her office in the annex adjacent to the Capitol, the (Louisville) Courier-Journal reported Wednesday. Combs said she has a concealed carry permit that allows her to carry the Ruger 380 semi-automatic handgun.

Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jason Palmer, legislative security branch commander, said anyone with a concealed carry permit may bring a loaded weapon onto the Capitol campus.

Palmer said no charges would be filed.

The gun discharged into the base of a book case while Combs was discussing a legislative matter with another lawmaker.

Asked if the incident would lead her reconsider about carrying a gun, Combs said, "I am a gun owner. I support the right to bear arms."

"I will be the first proponent for gun safety, at the same time I'm also a proponent in support of people to be able to carry weapons properly and with a concealed carry permit," she said.

Rep. Mary Lou Marzian said she thought lawmakers "need to really look at whether or not we're going to allow guns around here. ... I'm certainly not wanting to take guns away from people, but maybe keep them in our cars if people have them, to not bring them around to where there are going to be children walking up around the halls."

Another lawmaker, Rep. Stan Lee, said the incident didn't warrant a reconsideration of gun restrictions.

"Guess she needs to be more careful," Lee said of Combs. "I don't have a problem with her having a gun, but you need to be careful using one."

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