Republican Colorado Lawmaker Leaves Loaded Gun in Bathroom of State Capitol Building

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Apr 19, 2024

A Republican state representative in Colorado has been forced to make a public apology after leaving a loaded gun in an unlikely place.

The rep, Don Wilson, sent out a statement on social media platform X this week to apologize for the surreal incident. 

Specifics of the Statement

The lawmaker took to social media to reiterate that the gun was only “briefly” left unattended after he forgot about it in the bathroom.

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Source: @COTimesRecorder/X

He also wanted to reassure the public that the State Capitol building was closed to the public at the time. He went on to thank the Colorado State Patrol and Capitol staff for resolving the issue quickly. 

Firearm Safety a Top Priority

Wilson reassured the public that as a registered firearm carrier, his commitment to safety is ongoing and he was humbled by the event.

A man wearing a red hat, safety glasses, earplugs, and a green shirt aims a gun at a target in a field

Source: Joel Moysuh/Unsplash

The incident serves as a clear reminder that firearm safety is a lifelong task. He expects to “reaffirm” his commitment to responsibly handling his weapons in the future.

Janitor Allegedly Found the Gun

According to the Colorado State Patrol, a loaded 9 millimeter Glock was found by a janitor on Tuesday evening.

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Source: Jon Tyson/Unsplash

The Glock, a type of semi-automatic pistol, was found on a shelf inside of a single-occupancy, unisex bathroom.

Surveillance Footage Located the Culprit

After finding the gun the janitor immediately alerted police of the discovery. They were able to act quickly and review footage to find the owner of the gun.

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Source: Wikipedia Commons

The footage showed Wilson leaving the bathroom about an hour after the Glock was discovered. 

Committee Members Were Still in the Building at the Time

Although the Capitol building was closed at 7 p.m. to the public, the House Judiciary Committee held a meeting that lasted until 9 p.m.

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Members of the public and press are allowed to attend the Judiciary Committee meetings. It is currently unknown if any civilians were in the building at the time.


Police Determined No Wrongdoing Was Found

Although the incident issued alarm bells in the Capitol building, police quickly resolved their investigation. 

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Police officers told the Colorado Sun that no crime was committed and they do not expect to lay any criminal charges on the state representative at the time. The incident was a risk, but ultimately, no one was put at risk. 


The Incident Has Opponents Pulling a New Bill

Senate Bill 131 has been introduced into the Colorado state Legislature at the heels of the incident. 

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Source: Wikipedia Commons

The new bill would attempt to expand the places that do not allow anyone to carry firearms. The new rule would apply to both concealed and open carry weapons and would include the Capitol building as a place where no guns would be allowed to be brought into.


Democrats Firing at Wilson on X

This week, Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter about the incident.

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She called out the bathroom incident with Wilson and further stated that a “handgun is not a cellphone”. She notes that the bill serves to protect the public in designated gun-free zones.


Bill Passes in Colorado

The partisan bill passed in the Senate last week in Colorado with all Democratic representatives supporting the measure. 

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All 9 Democratic state representatives approved of the measure in a vote on April 5th. The next hearing in the house is set to take place on April 17th.


House Speaker in Support of the New Bill

Julie McCluskie (D), the speaker of the house, released a statement about the incident along with the consequences.

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Source: @DeltaCODems/X

She claims that leaving a gun unattended in a public bathroom should have resulted in more serious consequences. As well, the Republican guilty of misplacing their gun could have been the cause of a very dangerous situation. 


Wilson Not Open To Comment

Although multiple organizations have reached out to Republican representative Wilson for comment, he has declined to make any statements about the incident.

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Source: @Andyknny/X

Wilson currently sits on the Committee on Legal Services, Transportation, Housing and Local Government Committee, and the Education Committee.