CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) — New Hampshire State Rep. Carolyn Halstead shows how she accidently dropped her loaded handgun on the floor of a packed public committee hearing meeting at the State House in Concord.
Halstead said she was rushing in to take her seat when the gun holster got caught on her backpack.
“When I wear that particular holster, I carry in the middle of my back and the backpack must have gotten caught on it. When I squatted down and I took it off, it went like this and it came out,” State Rep. Halstead said.
Inside the room was a mother and two children.
“Panic, like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this happened and I need to make sure everything is safe,’ ” Halstead said.
Although the gun was loaded, Halstead says she had all of her safety features on so the gun would not have gone off.
Very few in the room even witnessed what happened, but it was just enough to raise some eyebrows.
New Hampshire Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper later released a statement, saying, “The firearm owner bears the responsibility of maintaining control of said firearm at all times. Unfortunately, proper control was not exhibited in this instance. I have impressed upon her that, while no harm came from this incident, her lack of control is unacceptable.”
Halstead agrees and was deeply apologetic.
“I agree it shouldn’t have happened,” Halstead said.
Currently, it is legal to allow guns in the State House and in legislative office buildings. Halstead said she plans to make some changes to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“I’m not going to wear the backpack with that holster. I have to find a different holster for that backpack,” Halstead said.
A second-term representative from Milford, Halstead said she always practices gun safety and was glad she handled the incident quickly and calmly.