Democrat Lawmaker Fires Gun in Office – Says it was a Mistake

Kentucky lawmaker Leslie Combs (D-Pikeville) recently made a big bang in her office. Combs accidentally fired her gun in her Capitol Annex office on the first day of the legislative session in January.

So what happened? According to Rep. Jeff Greer (D-Brandenburg), “She was emptying the weapon and she thought that it was empty and pointed it away and down and pulled the trigger and it went off. Thankfully, no one was hurt. I know she feels terrible about it. … It’s just an unfortunate event.”

Yeah, thankfully no one was hurt. While it’s admirable that she at least pointed it away and down, one wonders why she pulled the trigger. The weapon was a semi-automatic. According to proper gun safety, Combs should have removed the magazine, cycled the weapon several times and inspected the magazine well and chamber, not point it away and pulled the trigger.

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“The bullet struck the carpet and broke into pieces,” said Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg).  “And the primary piece and other pieces were found lodged in the bookcase, the wooden bookcase that sits next to her desk.”

“I was purposely disarming it to put it up because I didn’t like it and I didn’t want to use it anymore,” Combs said.

“I had had it in my purse I carry usually, and I thought ‘I’m going to put that sucker away,'” she added.

“I’m a gun owner. It happens,” she said.

Interesting, it’s never happened to me.

While Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jason Palmer, who heads the legislative security unit, said there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and that no charges would be filed, one has to wonder if a regular citizen would have received the same treatment.

According to Speaker Stumbo, lawmakers can have their weapons in their offices and even on the chamber floor. Calls to the Kentucky State House, as of the publishing of this article, cannot confirm whether the citizenry are allowed their rights to carry their guns inside the State House.

Stumbo believes that Combs was “somewhat embarrassed” by the incident.

Combs, unlike a lot of Democrats in Washington is said to be a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and for concealed carry laws. She exercises her rights when it comes to guns too, which I’m happy to see. However, the safety part is a bit troubling.

The Kentucky lawmaker has been an advocate of gun safety programs as well. “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.”

I get it. The firing of the gun scared her. I think a healthy respect for guns is a good thing. However, this was no accidental firing. It was careless. She pointed the gun away, down and pulled the trigger. That is not an accidental firing. It’s purposeful, and I might add foolish.

The Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America called for Combs’ resignation, claiming that lawmakers should be held to the highest standard.

“As a concealed-carry permit holder, Rep. Combs should understand the risks of handling a loaded gun within close proximity of others. She not only put her own life in danger, but that of her colleague,” said Tracey Goodlett who leads the chapter.

Not only does Combs need to understand gun safety, she also needs to understand guns in general. She told WHAS 11 the gun was an “automatic” and said she needed to “stick with revolvers.” Perhaps, she needs to become better educated before carrying any gun in the future.

UPDATE: Sgt. Palmer returned my call and to my surprise, Kentucky allows it’s citizens on the state house grounds and through the building with a concealed weapon as long as they have a CWP. However, if they enter a committee room or a chamber, they must carry openly or return the gun to their car. I like Kentucky!

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