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Capitol Police Keep Leaving Their Guns in the Bathroom

At least three incidents in the last year

Capitol Police / AP
• May 1, 2015 1:08 pm

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At least three times in the last year the Capitol Police officers have left loaded firearms in various bathrooms around the Capitol Building. The incidents have involved the security details for top congressional leaders, and a child came in contact with one of the lost firearms, Roll Call reports.

When a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security detail left his Glock and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder of a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall, a CVC worker found the gun, according to a source familiar with the Jan. 29 incident and two other disturbing instances when Capitol Police left loaded firearms in problematic places.

A 7- or 8-year-old child visiting the Capitol with his parents found the next loaded Glock lost by a dignitary protection officer, according to the source. A member of the security detail for John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, allegedly left the firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker’s Suite on March 24.

A third Glock was found the night of April 16 by a janitor cleaning the Capitol Police headquarters building on D Street NE. The weapon was left in plain sight, sparking additional concern about the department charged with protecting one of the world’s most important and frequently visited complexes.

A report on the first incident recommended suspending the officer involved for several days while the other two are still under investigation. However, there may be other cases of officers leaving their guns unattended which have not been publicly disclosed.

How often do officers leave their guns unattended around the Capitol complex? The answer is unknown because Capitol Police are not required to disclose such incidents. The Jan. 29 incident went out over the radio system, but the other two have been kept quiet, based on conversations with nine Capitol Police employees from various divisions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal issues. None seemed surprised, and two offered other examples of officers who were investigated for leaving their guns unsecured or unattended.