Ky. Representative That Accidentally Fired Handgun In Her Office: "It Happens"

| by Will Hagle

A member of Kentucky’s House of Representatives had a simple explanation for why she fired a gun in her office on Tuesday: “I’m a gun owner. It happens.” 

According to the Courier-Journal, Rep. Leslie Combs accidentally fired her handgun while unloading it in the Capitol Annex of Kentucky’s legislative buildings. According to the USA Today, Combs typically carries her gun in her purse but decided on Tuesday to disarm it and put it away in her office. Combs has a concealed carry permit, and Kentucky state law allows for anyone such a permit to carry a weapon on Capitol grounds. 

The laws against discharging a weapon, of course, are much different. Still, Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jason Palmer maintained that no charges would be filed against Combs. Like Combs, Palmer had a simple explanation for his decision. 

“No evidence of criminal acts were observed,” Palmer said. 

Although Rep. Jeff Greer (D-Brandenburg) was also in the office at the time, no individuals were harmed in the incident, an outcome Comb credits to being properly trained in gun safety. 

“I was particularly careful. Rep. Greer was on the other side of the room...No one was in harm’s way. I made sure of that,” Combs said during a press conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, explaining how she purposely aimed the weapon away from Rep. Greer.  

Despite the accidental nature of the incident as well as the fact that no one was injured, Combs’ firing of her weapon ignited a debate amongst lawmakers about whether guns should be allowed in the Capitol. Weapons were banned in the building from 1995 to 2003 after an order from Gov. Paul Patton, but the order was not renewed after it expired. Combs has been a legislator in Kentucky since 2007.