SALEM, Ore. — Oregon officials banned state employees from carrying weapons in the workplace unless they’re needed for their jobs, causing consternation Thursday among Republican leaders in the Legislature.

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services said it imposed the ban, which became effective on Jan. 6, in hopes of “providing a safe and secure environment for employees and visitors.”

Banned are firearms, daggers, slingshots, and a host of other specified weapons. Oddly, even knobkerries were mentioned. Knobkerries are clubs used by indigenous people like the Zulus in southern Africa, and are probably unknown to most Oregonians.

House Republican leader said Thursday the order was tantamount to limiting employees’ right to self-defense. In a statement, McLane said he would ask Gov. Kate Brown where the authority for the new rules comes from.

Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli said the Brown administration “has no business confiscating self-defense rights from public servants, volunteers and others, who have committed themselves to serving our state.”

The order does not appear to apply to lawmakers.

It became an issue in Oregon on the same day that a lawmaker in New Hampshire dropped her loaded gun on the floor of the Statehouse near some children. It didn’t go off. Rep. Carolyn Halstead, a Republican, said the gun fell from her waistband after her backpack caught on it as she took the backpack off.

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