Conservative pro-gun U.S. Congress wannabe Joe Kaufman, who could become the GOP opponent to incumbent and DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz in November, may want to take an NRA gun-handling class.
According to a Broward Sheriff’s Office report obtained by Gossip Extra, Kaufman shot himself accidentally in a finger while practicing his draw in front of a mirror at home in November in Tamarac.
Kaufman, according to the report, had just purchased a 40-caliber Smith & Wesson short barrel MP40C handgun ($479, according to the BSO papers) when he decided to look at himself draw.
The 41-year-old inadvertently fired a round, which struck his left index finger before traveling through a bathroom wall and into a bedroom wall.
The report doesn’t say whether someone else was home, but Kaufman told me there was no one else.
“Don’t go thinking I tried to commit suicide,” he said.
Kaufman was transported to Broward General Medical Center, where deputies interviewed him and deemed the discharge to be accidental. Kaufman wasn’t charged with any wrongdoing.
Kaufman is going against four other Republicans for the right to unseat Wasserman Schultz from the 20th Congressional District, which covers Broward and the north side of Miami-Dade County. The final race is supposed to become of the highest profile of 2012.
“I was handling a gun that was fairly new,” Kaufman said. “I didn’t know there was a bullet in the chamber. I was careless. It became a teaching moment for me but it won’t stop me from supporting the right to bear arms.”
Kaufman, a counter-terrorism expert, said he’s had death threats in the past after helping to shut down alleged charities raising money for terrorism.
“I use my guns for protection,” he said, adding that he does make some public appearances with a bullet-proof vest on.
This story first appeared in my column in the Miami Herald