Lawmaker drops loaded gun on floor near children at hearing

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CONCORD, N.H. — A New Hampshire lawmaker attending a public hearing on the merits of full-day kindergarten has dropped her loaded gun onto the floor near where children were sitting. Rep. Carolyn Halstead says she’s “mortified” by what happened.

The Republican from Milford says the gun fell off her waistband as she rushed to take her seat Thursday at a House Education Committee meeting. She says her backpack caught on the gun as she took it off. The gun didn’t fire.

Halstead says she quickly put the gun into her bag. Witnesses say the hearing carried on without disturbance.

It’s not the first time this has happened at the Statehouse. Former Republican Rep. Kyle Tasker dropped his gun during a 2012 committee hearing.

It’s legal to carry guns on the Statehouse grounds. Halstead says she’s licensed to carry her gun concealed.