US lawmaker faces backlash after leaving loaded gun unattended in restroom

A US lawmaker allegedly forgot his loaded handgun in a restroom at the Colorado State Capitol on Tuesday, police said.

State Representative Don Wilson left his 9mm Glock handgun on the shelf of a single-occupancy unisex restroom in the Capitol, according to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

Staff in the building discovered the weapon around 9:30pm and called State Troopers, which indicated that “the firearm was unattended for 23 minutes before being discovered by janitorial staff,” the CSP said in a statement.

Wilson said in a post on X on Thursday: “I want to be clear that I take full and complete accountability for the incident.

“I made a mistake and am very sorry. I take firearm safety very seriously. This is a humbling experience, and I will reaffirm my commitment to responsible handling procedures.”

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The weapon was returned to Wilson after law enforcement determined no statutes were violated. No criminal charges are pending.

The incident comes on the heels of a senate bill under consideration in Colorado to prohibit firearms in sensitive places, including in the state Capitol.

The bill would expand the locations where people could not legally carry a firearm, whether it’s concealed or open, including in voting centers and schools.

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State Representative Julie McCluskie said the incident with Wilson emphasizes the need for further firearm legislation.

She said: “The consequences of leaving a firearm unattended in a public space could be very serious.

“This should not have happened and cannot happen again, and this is why our caucus is pursuing legislation to prohibit carrying firearms in the Capitol.”

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