A former Iowa TV anchor, who is a Democratic candidate for Iowa House District 28, has been charged with the reckless discharge of a firearm.

KCCI reports Sonya Heitshusen fired a Glock 21 handgun on June 27. The bullet broke through the glass of a sliding door. According to the report, Heitshusen claims she accidentally pulled the trigger while setting the gun down on a kitchen table.

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Police say the firearm does not belong to Heitshusen, who told police the discharge was completely accidental. Heitshusen told officers she keeps the weapon for personal protection, and that her partner is a police officer.

Heitshusen says she has received threats on social media, and her partner was leaving town for an extended period of time. She said the discharge came while she was checking on one of the firearms.

As a broadcast journalist and now a candidate running for office, I have received a variety of general and specific threats to my personal safety over the years.

 

Her statement to KCCI also included information on where the firearm came from,

As a result of threats and my partner being a police officer, there are firearms in our home for personal protection.

 

While Heitshusen is running for the Iowa House, she is currently the public information officer for Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand. No one was injured in the accidental discharge and the property damage was limited to Heitshusen's property.

Her attorney called the charges completely baseless and expects her to ultimately be exonerated. Heitshusen pleaded not guilty. She has continued to make campaign appearances.

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