A man put a gun to the head of Ahmed Dogan, the leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party, during a televised conference.
Dogan, who leads the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), pushed the gunman's hand away and was unharmed. Security guards wrestled the unidentified gunman to the ground and kicked him.
The incident happened on Saturday at a party congress in the capital Sofia.
According to the BBC, Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the attacker tried to fire two shots but "most likely the gun misfired." He said the assailant had a criminal record for drugs possession, robberies and hooliganism.
The attacker was identified as a 25-year-old from the Black Sea town of Burgas. He was also carrying two knives.
The liberal MRF party represents ethnic Turks and other Muslims, who make up about 12% of Bulgaria's population.