UPDATED: Kentucky lawmaker in the hot seat after gun discharges in Capitol Annex office

Gun-control group calls for Rep. Leslie Combs to step down

By Kevin Wheatley, Published:

A gun-control organization is calling for the resignation of a state representative after her gun misfired Tuesday in her Capitol Annex office.

The Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America issued a press release Wednesday calling for 

Rep. Leslie Combs to step down. 

The group said as a concealed-carry permit holder, Combs “should understand the risks of handling a loaded gun within close proximity of others.”

“Moms Demand Action will not wait for another ‘accidental’ and preventable tragedy to happen,” the group said in a statement. “We are calling for the immediate resignation of Rep. Combs as incidents such as this cannot be tolerated, especially by our elected officials.”

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America — a group formed in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting — urged its members to contact lawmakers to push for the ban of firearms in city- and state-owned and operated properties.

Combs, D-Pikeville, said in a statement released Wednesday that no one was “hurt or in harm’s way.” She was following standard safety procedures when the gun accidentally discharged, according to the statement.

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

Combs, who said she’s held a concealed-carry permit for years, was absent from the House floor Wednesday and was not available for comment.

The Kentucky State Police’s legislative detail investigated the incident and found no evidence that “any portion of the round traveled outside Rep. Combs’ office,” according to the statement.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he asked KSP to investigate the matter, which was determined to be an unintentional discharge. No charges will be filed against Combs, and Stumbo called the incident “unfortunate.”

Rep. Jeff Greer, D-Brandenburg, was in the room when the gun discharged, Stumbo said. Combs pointed the handgun away from her fellow lawmaker when she pulled the trigger, thinking the firearm was unloaded, he said, and the bullet ricocheted off the floor and pieces of the round struck a bookshelf.

“Leslie, I know, is very concerned and probably somewhat embarrassed about the situation,” Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said. “By law she’s entitled to have that weapon on these premises. By law she can even carry it onto the House floor if she chose to do so.”

The only place in the Capitol that prohibits firearms is the Supreme Court courtroom, Stumbo said.

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  • Good posts all, shogun.

  • Guns and cars are both very dangerous when used improperly. I own both and have a license for both. If I misuse either one I may be and most probably will be subject to some sort of penalty. My previous posts were intended to express my personal opinion that the lawmaker did something really stupid and should be punished. I was amused but not surprised that the KSP investigated and found no reason for punishment and fellow legislators also just stated it was an unfortunate incident. At the very least she should pay for all damages to state property and have to get re-certified for her CCDW. I am positive that is what would happen to any of us little people. If I were driving along and blow through a 2-way STOP sign with a police car at the opposite side of the intersection and another vehicle with the right-of-way barely misses plowing into my broadside I am sure the nice police person will accept my excuse that I didn't intentionally run the stop sign plus nobody was hurt!!!

    My original post did not call out any other commenters and I merely stated my personal opinion. And for the record Pitchforkprotestor please check out the state law concerning CCDW (ConcealCarryDeadlyWeapons) and you will see (maybe) that no matter how deadly someone could be with their bare feet and hands they are not required to obtain CCDW permit.

  • pitchfork: "There are a number of reasons why a person would want to carry and the most important thing to remember is those persons are lawful to do so. And yes Homosapien it is a Liberal agenda to stop anyone from owning a fire arm. I’m sorry you just can’t seem to see it and get all huffy and puffy when anyone refers it as such."

    There are a lot of liberals who are not in The Kentucky Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  I have never even heard of them and for good reason...by their own claim they have only a little over 100,000 members NATIONWIDE, in a country of 330,000,000.  

    Methinks that you read to much of Wayne Pierre's propaganda, and watch too much FOX News...I can't see it because it isn't there.  As a recent search indicates, car jacking in KY is exceedingly rare, and that threat certainly does not warrant getting a concealed carry permit for that alone.  You are thousands of times more likely to die in a car accident with a drunk driver than getting killed in a car jacking. Drunk driving will victimize 4 million Americans this year, which means you will have a 60 percent chance of being a victim.

  • pitchfork: "Remember all the car jacking’s that was happening before the CCW law was passed? Then it seemed like overnight those criminal actions disappeared because those criminals didn’t take the chance of jacking the wrong car. It still happens but the frequency isn’t like it was before the law."

    No I don't...what is your source?

  • Pitchfork, all accidents are unintentional, but all unintentionable acts are not accidents, as some are the CAUSED by gross negligence, incompetence and stupidity.  The world is not in black and white like conservatives see it, but in shades of gray.  It appears that your problem is in your inability to see nuance.

    - accident: a sudden event that is not planned or intended and that causes damage or injury.

    - unintentional: not deliberate or intentional; inadvertent.

    Now, while in most instances an accident is an unintentionable act, in this case, she meant to pull the trigger, she just did not intend to fire a round that she failed to check for, like in rule NO. 1.  

    Actually, she was very lucky that she wasn't pointing the gun at herself when she did this very stupid thing, or looking down the barrel.  

     

    Pitchfork: "Homnosapien, you blast me for standing up for anyone that owns a handgun and then turn right around and profess to own them yourself what gives?"

    Sure, I own and use guns, but I do not follow that NRA doctrine of blind allegiance to guns and ammunition regardless of what happens and the circumstances involved.  That is living in your black and white bubble where nuance doesn't exist, while the real world is living in shades of gray.  We are not the same just because we own guns and would use them in self defense.  Not even close...my world is much more complex.

  • PITCHFORKPRO: I don't know if I can explain this to you or not but it was not an accident that the gun discharged because the story says she pointed the pistol away from the other person in the room and pulled the trigger. If she was removing the gun from her purse or desk and lost her grip and reached out to grab it and unintentionally pulled the trigger would be an accident. She violated several rules of gun safety and should not be allowed to carry again until she takes a gun safety course. She should also pay for the damaged she caused. 

    The very first commenter, GusPhilpott, stated it perfectly and the rest of us should have taken our fingers off the keyboard.

  • She didn't mean to so no harm no foul, right? WRONG! I dont think she should lose her job over this but I do think that she should had been charged like anybody else would had been. Just because she got lucky doesn't minumize the seriousness of her actions.. There have been several people charged lately for firing their guns with people around including a young man who fire his into the air trying to get people threatening him at HIS RWSIDENCE to leave. I will go out on a limb and say most drunk drivers will make it home safely but because it is dangerouse to drive drunk, They all get charged whether they harm anybody or not and sometimes wanton endangerment charges are filed also because of the possible danger to others. . My point is shes aan elected leader and she gets a pass because of it. Let anybody else go OOOPS, I was following procedures and nobody got hurt so no harm!

  • Shogun
          What part of “unintentional” makes it non accidental? Yes she forgone the #1 rule of fire arm safety, yes she discharged a live round in an office with others around, yes it was a stupid mistake. But I fail to read anywhere in this report that she had “intent” to do so. And it’s not CCDW though I know deep in your heart you’d like it to be it’s simply Carry Conceal Weapon. Your hands can be considered CCDW if you really what to get down to nuts and bolts and nitpick over one interjected letter from your post.

    Homnosapien,
           You blast me for standing up for anyone that owns a handgun and then turn right around and profess to own them yourself what gives?  Yes  I would stand up for you to be able to protect yourself after all personal safety is the main reason why you even have them in your home and the more you practice the better of a shooter you will become. Personally I prefer rifles and shotguns over handguns I have always been like that. Those who choose to enter our homes, or even on the streets with “Intent” to rob or cause harm are getting more brazen in their actions. That's why CCW permits are increasing and why she chooses to carry for safety.

         Remember all the car jacking’s that was happening before the CCW law was passed? Then it seemed like overnight those criminal actions disappeared because those criminals didn’t take the chance of jacking the wrong car. It still happens but the frequency isn’t like it was before the law.

        There are a number of reasons why a person would want to carry and the most important thing to remember is those persons are lawful to do so. And yes Homosapien it is a Liberal agenda to stop anyone from owning a fire arm. I’m sorry you just can’t seem to see it and get all huffy and puffy when anyone refers it as such.

        This lawmaker for our state I am sure is so embarrassed and shock up over this “unintentional” accident is why she didn’t show up the next day. Yet the wolves are calling for her head as some kind of prevented measure. Once the round left the barrel it cannot be taken back and no amount of pressure or words can obtain that, or give reason why she should be removed from office. It was “unintentional” and an accident.

        Usually when police respond to shots fired and find a weapon that person isn’t legal to have that weapon and that’s why they are arrested and charged, but in this case she was legal to have and carry. Yes I think she should re-certify each year for the next three years, pay for damages, and the investigation as well all for the simple reason she made a mistake.

        I can’t tell any of you who have not had any form of weapons training the importance of clearing your weapon. I have seen with my own eyes reckless individuals thinking they knew better.  This was not “intentional” but it was reckless and very glad no one was hurt. On the other hand one reason why she was clearing the weapon could be that the individual in her office wanted to see it, hold it and that's why this incident happened. This would have been a total different story had she not attempted any form of clearing her weapon before handing it to the curious person in her office. Can you imagine the headlines if she had been shot by her own weapon? Why the gun control freaks would be foming at the mouth and running over top one another to get to the microphone and TV cameras first and made the judgement that she was a target of a deranged chambers member and that's why we need gun control.
     

        To use this incident as a soap box to remove her from office, gain notoriety to further a groups cause and think by doing so will somehow prevent another incident  is a fool’s task. Attacking legal gun owners is not the answer and every one of you knows this. But it is easier to attack the legal gun owners than take on the criminals who have guns. 

  • As reported in the story this was not an accident and the gun didn't misfire. She intentionally pulled the trigger and failed the #1 rule of handling a firearm which is to ensure the gun was not loaded before pulling the trigger. I wonder if she really took the CCDW course in the first place. She should at least lose her privlege of carrying a firearm until she is re-certified. She should also be docked pay for that day and pay all damages to state property. Any of her fellow lawmakers that make public statements defending her actions should also have to wear "I AM STUPID" sign. 

  • I have to say that Bodeen is right. This person had no reason to be even handling a gun in the first place. Why was she checking her gun there if all places? Yes there was danger and lucky no one was injured. Besides if these people who hold office would conduct themselves better and start working for the people that voted them in and not bow down to the corporations and lobbyist then maybe just maybe they wouldn't feel the need to carry a weapon to work. Everyone has a right to own a firearm but other people have a right to feel safe from paranoid gun toting politicians. 

  • rky62 my comment was directed to I-Hate who appears to not see a problem since nobody was hurt. H811 yeah, everybody up,below same level was in danger & it doesn't matter that nobody was hurt, there was a risk and charges would had been filed if it had been anybody not holding an office. We will never know the real story.

  • user_33460 said "There are plenty of valid reasons to own a semi-automatic handgun, and very few of them involve shooting and killing people".    As a person who does not own a gun, I'd be interested in a list of those reasons.  Target/sport shooting?  Perhaps.  Otherwise, I would think it involves force or threat of force...ie, be willing to shoot someone.

    Bodeen said "Do you agree that nobody was ever in danger?"     I can't understand that at all.  If a loaded gun goes off, people in the vicinity are in danger.

  • user_33460, January 10, 2014 2:23PM

    "Homo, the problem with you on this issue and with every other issue that you comment on is that you are too close minded to consider that people who disagree with you have valid points. Instead, you have to insult and degrade anyone who doesn't happen to agree with you."

     

    Really?  That observation is funny because I completely agreed with every one of your valid points that you made in your post below:

    "The preferred term for this type of occurence in the firearms community is a "negligent discharge." While it's largely an academic difference, the reason for that particular terminology is that this was not an "accident" but rather "negligence" due to not properly clearing the weapon and then pulling the trigger. Fortunately, it seems, she was following sort of one of the rules of gun safety(although forgetting the other three) so at least the damage was minimal.

    In general, fondling your gun in a public setting such as this is a very bad idea. I'm a bit paranoid about semi-auto handguns, but the procedure I've always followed to clear them is to drop the magazine, rack the slide 3-4 times, visually inspect the chamber to be sure it's empty, and then either stick my finger in the chamber OR stick pencil or some other object down the muzzle and make sure it passes all the way through into the chamber. Yes, this is redundant, but it also includes several checks to make absolutely sure the gun is unloaded."

     

    That was a very thoughtful and insightful post that indicated your knowledge and understanding of this subject.  

    I have several semi-auto handguns of various calibers and makes, and I can tell you from personal experience that the number one reason that I have them is for that unlikely event that I will have to shoot someone.  I am not all that convinced that I am much more accurate with them over a revolver, but they sure pack a lot more firepower in a similar sized package. The only reason that I target practice with them is so that during that unlikely event when I am shooting at someone, that I will be much more efficient in placing those bullets into tight groups in vital organ areas.  

    Now there are folks who say that they just like to target practice with high caliber semi-auto handguns, but if they find themselves in the wrong situation at the wrong time, they will use their weapons in self defense just like I will.  Anyone who doesn't do that is a danged fool!

    I am not sure what your problem is in this last post, but I wasn't even referring to you or anything that you said here.  When pitchforkedtongue makes a valid point without a sarcastic attack at some "libral" attached to it, I will acknowledge it in kind. Maybe you haven't been keeping up with current events, but those are very few and far between.  Until then, he is but an oxygen deprived, nuance challenged Teabagger, who will defend anyone doing nearly anything with a handgun.

     

    In this instance, it was lucky that this woman didn't kill or seriously injure some innocent person in her office.  

  • Sometimes groups like MDAGSA need to get a dose of reality. Accidential dischage of a weapon is serious and no one should be head banged to death because one happens and no one should have to leave an elected position just because a bunch of angry Liberal house wifes wants to associate everything that happens with weapons involved to Sandy Hook. That incident was intentional, planned and carried out by an individual whose mother was thoughtless enough to not secure her weapons and the result was her death, but no one seems to want to put blame where blame is actually due! Remember his mother introduced those very same weapons to him as away for them to bond.

    Criminal Neglect? There was no criminal neglect or intent. She wasn't waving it around screaming in a threatening manner and then pulled the trigger so JD you're wrong on all counts. Is forgetting to use yor turn signal when turning(which I say quite a few here do/has done) and causing an accident criminal neglect, or intent? No you just didn't apply what you were taught and your response to the officer is "I just forgot"!

    She should re-certify, go through the whole CCW course and be checked out. If every soldier has to re-qualify each year then CCW holers should at least have to as well. But having a rally to get her to resign is a waste of oxygen and space. She did no harm but to her own pride!

    user_33460 don't feed the gremlin and it will go away like a stray cat lmao!

  • Homo, the problem with you on this issue and with every other issue that you comment on is that you are too close minded to consider that people who disagree with you have valid points. Instead, you have to insult and degrade anyone who doesn't happen to agree with you.

     

    There are plenty of valid reasons to own a semi-automatic handgun, and very few of them involve shooting and killing people. For many of these purposes they are superior to other types of guns(i.e. as a target pistol semi automatics are inherently more accurate than revolvers). Anyone who doesn't recognize this is horribly ill informed, ignorant of the subject, and close minded.

  • Knock knock.

    Who's there? 

    Bang.

    Bang who?

    Bang UR dead.

    Guns are not cars and vice versa.

    The primary intended purpose of a semi-auto hand gun is to shoot and kill people.  Not so with an automobile, in fact it isn't even in the top 1000 intended purposes of an auto.  Anybody that can't see that is an oxygent deprived, nuance challenged entity.

  • Rep. Combs doesn't need to step down, but she should seek remedial firearms safety training. The stupid Moms group jumped on the bandwagon right away about a "preventable tragedy". There wasn't any "tragedy" here, except for giving a few bytes to Moms. Moms Demand Action recently joined up with Mayor Bloomburg, and they are now aiming to prohibit all gun sales, according to Examiner.com

  • Ihate, Do you agree that nobody was ever in danger? I'm a firm believer in gun rights for the responsible citizen. I don't believe the story of events as reported and think that there is more to this story. I'm more appalled at how they are brushing this incident off as no big deal.

  • JD must have missed the part in the article where she "shot" anybody.....typical left looney exaggerated response.  And add FICTIONAL "facts".  If you try reading what I said.  You will see I said she did in fact did handle the gun improperly.  However COMMA, discharging a firearm accidently does not mean its automatically make it criminal. ----the car wreck analogy is perfect.  MANY people are injured and killed in ACCIDENTAL wrecks.  Doesnt mean we should ban cars or people from driving or put them in prison. If the facts SHOW in a wreck or gun discharge then so be it.  But evidently in this case it didnt.  Enough on this post cuz cant argue with people that are to ------ they steal my oxygen. If IF'S and BUT'S were candy and nuts we would all be rich.

  • Speaking of 'oxygen thieves'...

     

    Are you seriously saying that discharging a firearm, because you 'didn't realize it was loaded' isn't a CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT ACT??

     

    We'll all remember that when you get shot by your neighbor (or yourself) 'on accident'...

  • "She was following standard safety procedures when the gun accidentally discharged, according to the statement." 

    According to the NRA:

    The fundamental NRA rules for safe gun handling are:

    1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.

    2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

    3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.

     

    Now I'm not a big fan of the NRA, but even those wackadoo's don't say...

    "It's ok AND STANDARD SAFETY PROCEDURE for her to have "pointed the handgun away from her fellow lawmaker when she pulled the trigger, thinking the firearm was unloaded,"

     

    What would have happened if there had been an 'accidental discharge' in a private citizen's home?  Arrest?  Confiscation?  Court?  Tons of MONEY??

  • Maybe we should ban all people who ACCIDENTLY wreck their car and take their drivers license......Typical liberal left attack on guns.  Sandy Hook was NOT an accidental shooting.  It was premeditated well thought by a crazed man whole STOLE his mothers guns after MURDERING her.  Yes you should never assume a gun is unloaded and you should not be pulling the trigger unless you intend on shooting.  However it doesnt fit a criminal act and is knee jerk reaction by the gun banning left.

  • Lies after lies!  Anybody that has ever held and use a gun knows that proper procedures were not followed and certainly everybody on that floor were in harms way with a bullet fired off. That is Unless the walls or floor are solid concrete but the two people in that room lives were in danger also.

    What or why was she handling a gun for in her office to start with, especially with another member in there? What really happened? Was alcohol involved? Why was she not at work the day after?  I see that DUMBO and gang still thinks everbody is an idiot.

  • You never,ever, ever,ever point any weapon or pull the triger unless you first check the chanber to see that it is not loaded. I am sure Rep. Combs was taught this in the carry concealed class by her instructor!! Also never hand anyone a weapon until it is checked to see it is not loaded. i believe Rep combs was careless and negligent and should have never happened.

     

  • Your return has a lovely spin, 33460. The preferred term for this type of occurrence from gun-control advocates is "EVERYBODY PANIC!"

     

  • The preferred term for this type of occurence in the firearms community is a "negligent discharge." While it's largely an academic difference, the reason for that particular terminology is that this was not an "accident" but rather "negligence" due to not properly clearing the weapon and then pulling the trigger. Fortunately, it seems, she was following sort of one of the rules of gun safety(although forgetting the other three) so at least the damage was minimal.

    In general, fondling your gun in a public setting such as this is a very bad idea. I'm a bit paranoid about semi-auto handguns, but the procedure I've always followed to clear them is to drop the magazine, rack the slide 3-4 times, visually inspect the chamber to be sure it's empty, and then either stick my finger in the chamber OR stick pencil or some other object down the muzzle and make sure it passes all the way through into the chamber. Yes, this is redundant, but it also includes several checks to make absolutely sure the gun is unloaded. 

  • You're right Steve and Bodeen. Do a search on this story and no other news outlet is using the word 'misfire'. NY Daily News: "Kentucky pol accidentally fires gun in Capitol office"

  • Headline is a little misleading, also... it seems to me that the gun operated PERFECTLY, neither an accident NOR a misfire. Any "accident" would be on the person that pulled the trigger. Perhaps "Representative accidentally fires gun in her office"?

     

  • LOL. " She was following standard safety procedures when the gun accidentally discharged, according to the statement.

    Who are they kidding? Of course no charges will be filed but had this any ole Joe, he would had been charged with wanton endangerment charges corrosponding to the amount of people on that floor. How can they say nobody was in danger with a bullet ricocheting around the room and unless the walls are bullet proof?

    ARE THEY THAT SKEERED.

  • Rep. Combs was careless and negligent. Her concealed-carry permit should be suspended until she demonstrates competence to an independent firearms trainer and examiner. Her gun didn't "misfire". She did NOT follow standard safety procedures. The weapon didn't discharge accidentally. What happened was that she was apparently unloading it by removing the magazine, and then she failed to clear the chamber. You don't pull the trigger without looking into the chamber to verify that it is clear. That's carelessness. The Kentucky State Police should have charged her, just like they would have charged a citizen who wasn't a legislator. It was an unintentional, negligent discharge. She damaged State property and should be charged. Do licensed citizens get to carry firearms into the Statehouse?