Thursday, January 26, 2006

Can't wait for concealed weapons in Capitol

The Richmond Times-Dispatch:

A remorseful John S. Reid, a Republican from Henrico County, apologized on the House of Delegates floor today for accidentally firing his gun in his legislative office this morning.

In a freak accident, Reid said his gun went off when he was ejecting the magazine -- which contains bullets --from the .380-caliber Kel-Tec handgun. A bullet was fired into a bullet-proof vest that happened to be hanging inside his office door.

The bullet proof vest worked: it stopped the bullet.
UPDATE: Gary Fisher reminds me Wisconsin already has had guns in the Capitol:

Gun-toting Officer Causes Capitol Stir

Wisconsin State Journal, March 15, 2002

While checking the state Senate gallery after someone had loudly demanded to testify about a proposed concealed gun law, the sergeant-at-arms found a man toting a gun.

The armed man turned out to be a police chief in plain clothes who'd taken off his jacket, exposing the gun. But the experience alarmed Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Jon

The incident has prompted Senate officials to review policies on firearms in the building.

Just before the incident last week, Senate Democrats had blocked a vote on the bill to allow ordinary citizens to get permission to carry concealed weapons.

Hochkammer said state statutes already permit law enforcement or military personnel to carry a weapon in the Capitol.

Capitol Police talked to the armed man, who turned out to be Fairchild Police Chief David Wagner, said Bob Seitz, an aide to Sen. Dave Zien, R-Eau Claire, the main supporter of the concealed weapons bill.

When Wagner entered the Capitol, he showed his badge and told officers guarding the door that he had a gun, Hochkammer said.

Hochkammer said he wished that he'd been warned.

"It would have been nice to know he was carrying," Hochkammer said. "We see police in here carrying weapons a lot and we encourage them to notify us, but not everyone knows what the rules are."

Said Senate Chief Clerk Donald Schneider: "The fact he was in the building with a sidearm gave people pause. It's the first incident like that we are aware of in the gallery."

... Wagner said he came to Madison to testify on the concealed weapons bill. "I do not have a problem with the law-abiding citizen possessing a firearm," Wagner said. "The criminal who has a gun is going to be a danger to me."

Wagner has been Fairchild chief for two years and a law enforcement officer for 10 years.


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