Despite us emphasizing the Associated Press reporter with how incredibly rare any problems were with carrying guns at legislatures and noting that not one had been harmed in those cases, the reporter focused the very rare, minor problems that have occurred. The AP headline for the piece is “Gun-friendly statehouses see occasional reckless conduct.” Relying on our data on where guns are permitted on statehouse grounds, the reporter lists one accidental discharge and two cases where people have temporarily misplaced their guns. The article also only focuses on state legislators being allowed to carry when in fact there are absolutely no problems that have been recorded with civilians being able to carry. We had not previously included the Idaho incident in our listed below because someone saying that they temporarily forgot that their gun was in one of their desk drawers didn’t seem particularly troublesome.
Here is the way part of the AP story appeared in the Washington Post (note that the Associated Press also go the name of the CPRC wrong):
“I’ve testified in a number of states where I’ve had legislators show me they were carrying even though they weren’t allowed to do so,” said John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Resource Center [sic], which has gathered info on guns in statehouses.
No violent incidents of lawmakers carrying guns at statehouses have been recorded in recent memory. Carelessness is another matter.
In 2014, Democratic Kentucky Rep. Leslie Combs shot a hole through the floorboards while cleaning her gun in her capitol office. Another lawmaker was present but unhurt.
That same year, Colorado Rep. Jared Wright left his loaded handgun unattended in a bag under a table in a House committee room — right after a hearing on concealed weapons. Wright, a former law enforcement official, said he would stop carrying his gun inside the building after admonishment from the governor.
In Idaho, House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, a Republican, walked into the press room last year and asked reporters if he’d left his gun there following a meeting. Ten minutes later, he’d found it in a desk drawer.
And it’s not just lawmakers who have acted recklessly. In 2013, a staffer in the Missouri State Senate resigned after leaving a gun in a capitol bathroom. . . .
The AP article is appearing in hundreds of media outlets in the US and around the world including: Minneapolis Star Tribune, Salon, Boston Globe, Yahoo Singapore News, Houston Chronicle, WTOP News Radio in DC, ABC News, and the UK Daily Mail.