OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A state lawmaker who gained national notoriety with an anti-homosexual rant was stopped from entering the state Capitol Wednesday when she was found to have a loaded handgun in her purse, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.
Patrol spokeswoman Chris West said Republican Rep. Sally Kern was not charged because there did not appear to be any "malicious intent" behind her actions.
West said officers are allowed to "use their brains" when determining if an arrest should be made in such instances.
West also confirmed a second incident in which Kern made it into the building with a gun in June.
Kern complained earlier this year of receiving death threats after an audio clip was posted on YouTube in which she calls homosexuality a bigger threat to the U.S. than terrorism.
Guns and knives are prohibited in the Capitol and those who enter must pass through an airport-style security checkpoint, including a metal detector and an X-ray machine. It is a misdemeanor to bring a weapon inside.
Kern told The Associated Press Wednesday that both incidents were simple mistakes.
The first time, the weapon got through the security checkpoint, she said.
"I got all the way up to my office before I realized I had it, so I reported it," she said.
On Wednesday, she said she forgot to take the .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun out of her purse after she stopped to talk to a colleague.
"It was an honest mistake from being out of my routine, you know," she said.
Kern said she had a permit for the gun and had carried it long before the YouTube controversy.
Do you believe her?