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Shot Fired Accidentally at Ohio Military Recruiting Station

Allen Bowles, left, and Clint Janney stand guard outside a military recruiting center in Columbus, Ohio. The men are members of the 3 Percent Irregulars Militia.(AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)
Allen Bowles, left, and Clint Janney stand guard outside a military recruiting center in Columbus, Ohio. The men are members of the 3 Percent Irregulars Militia.(AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)

LANCASTER, Ohio — An armed civilian accidentally fired a shot from an AR-15 rifle into the pavement outside a military recruiting center in Ohio on Thursday but no one was hurt, police said.

The incident occurred days after armed citizens started showing up at military recruiting centers around the country to act as guards following last week's killing of four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

A police report said 28-year-old Christopher Reed was holding the rifle outside the recruiting station near the River Valley Mall in Lancaster, about 40 miles southeast of Columbus, at about noon when someone asked to look at the weapon. While Reed was clearing the ammunition from the rifle, he accidentally fired a shot into the pavement.

Reed was given a summons to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm within the city limits. A call to a number listed for him in the police report rang unanswered.

Citizens in many states, some of them private militia members, said they're supporting the recruiters, who by military directive are not armed.

Officials say there is no indication such centers are in further danger, and the government isn't changing how they're staffed. But some governors have temporarily moved National Guard recruiting centers to armories and several — including Ohio's John Kasich on Wednesday — have authorized Guard personnel to carry weapons at state facilities.

Military officials say the Pentagon shouldn't rush to change the ban, which is governed in part by century-old law, because arming troops in those facilities could cause more problems than it might solve.

Navy officials said a recruiter in Atlanta accidently shot himself in the leg with his personal .45-caliber pistol while discussing the Tennessee shootings with one of his recruits last week. Officials said he showed the sailor the unloaded gun, then reloaded it and inadvertently discharged it as he was putting it back in his holster.

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