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Gun charge against RI lawmaker dismissed

January 14, 2011

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PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A gun charge against a state lawmaker has been dismissed after he agreed to surrender his firearms license and to contribute $500 to the state's violent crime fund.

State Rep. Peter Petrarca was charged with firing a gun in a confined area in connection with a Dec. 11 incident outside a nightclub he co-owns.

The Lincoln Democrat says the .38 caliber handgun was in his pocket when it accidentally discharged as he reached in to get his keys. No one was hurt.

A city lawyer tells The Providence Journal the charge was dismissed after authorities determined the discharge was an accident.

Petrarca, a father of three, said in a statement that "I deeply regret this unfortunate occurrence," which he said has "shaken" him.

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Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.projo.com/