JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A loaded handgun belonging to a legislative staff member was found inside a bathroom in the basement of the Missouri Capitol, according to a Capitol Police report.
Police said the gun was discovered Friday on top of a toilet paper dispenser by another legislative employee. The gun was in a black nylon holster.
The firearm was returned to David Evans, who is listed on the Missouri House website as a staff member for Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka. According to the police report, Evans has a concealed carry permit. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
A Missouri law passed in 2011 allows state elected officials and their employees to carry concealed firearms inside the state Capitol if they have permits.
Jones' chief of staff, Tom Smith, said Tuesday that Evans is remorseful and has been instructed to take an additional gun safety course that he agreed to complete within the next few weeks.
"I know that Dave is a responsible, law-abiding gun owner and that he will never allow a mistake such as this to happen again," Smith said.
The bathroom where the gun was found is across a hallway from a meeting room used by House committees. The Missouri Capitol's basement includes several House hearing rooms, offices for some staff members and a cafeteria.
There were relatively few people in the Capitol last week. Legislators concluded a session for veto overrides a week earlier and Gov. Jay Nixon was traveling to a Kansas City-area auto plant for a visit by President Barack Obama.