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State senator accused of pointing gun at reporter

2:20 PM, Jul 12, 2011   |    comments
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During a recent interview with the Arizona Republic, State Senator Lori Klein allegedly pointed the gun at reporter Richard Ruelas as she demonstrated its laser sights.

In a written statement, Senator Klein denied the allegation, but a tape recorder was running during the interview.

"She showed us the gun and I looked down and I saw the red dot on my chest... it was there for a few seconds and then it was gone," Ruelas said.

Ruelas's story was on attitudes toward guns.

Klein says she always carries a Ruger .380, even on the Senate floor.

Ruelas had asked her to see it.

"Part of me did think 'she must know what she's doing...she wouldn't be doing this if it was a reckless thing to do'," Ruelas said.

The gun was loaded and the laser sight was on, but Ruelas says her finger was off the trigger.

The Ruger .380 doesn't have a safety.

"My reaction would have been immediate," NRA certified instructor Terry Allison said. "Number one I would have moved, number two I would have told her, 'Do not point the firearm at me.'"

Allison says Klein broke the golden rule of guns.

"That's wrong on many levels," he said. "One of the first things we teach people from little people to big people is you never point a gun loaded or unloaded at anything you don't want to shoot."

In a statement to the Arizona Guardian, Klein denies pointing the gun at Ruelas, saying he sat down in front of it.

Ruelas explains there's no way that happened because he had a photographer working with him.

"You try and stay out of the way of the photographer, so I stayed stationary throughout the interview," he said.

Ruelas' audio recorder was running and backs up his claim.

It caught Klein later admitting she pointed the gun at him.

"I didn't see the laser," photographer Matt Henle can be heard saying.

"I pointed it at him," Klein responds.

"She pointed it at me," Ruelas agrees, laughing, "With the safety on, you pointed it at me."

"No, there is no safety on it, I just didn't have my hand on the trigger," Klein answers.

Senator Klein did not return any phone calls made to her.

Under Arizona law, pointing a gun at someone could be considered aggravated assault.

Ruelas says he did not feel threatened and he's not interested in bringing charges.

(Copyright © 2011 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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