Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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January 8, 2014

Lawmaker’s gun accidentally goes off at Capitol Annex

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.

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