(Reuters/Joshua Roberts/AP/Gary Cameron)

Child finds loaded gun in House Speaker John Boehner's Capitol bathroom

Third time in recent months that Capitol security officers have left loaded guns in publicly accessible areas


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 1, 2015 6:42PM (UTC)

A child reportedly found a loaded Glock handgun in the bathroom suite of Republican House Speaker John Boehner in what is just the latest of a string of Capitol security missteps, Roll Call's Hannah Hess reports.

But this is not an isolated incident. In January, a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's security detail left a loaded gun wedged into the seat-cover dispenser in a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom. And in April, a janitor found a loaded Glock in plain sight while cleaning the Capitol Police headquarters.

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Lieutenant Kimberly Schneider, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, told Roll Call in an email that "[t]he Department takes very seriously all breaches of Department rules and has established policies that address such matters...Depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, an employee’s record, and other ‎required considerations, an appropriate penalty is applied, up to and including termination of employment."

However, it is impossible to know how often such incidents have occurred, or how many security personnel have been punished for them, since the Capitol Police are not required to disclose such incidents to the public. Also unknown is how much Rep. Boehner or Sen. McConnell knew about these incidents, as spokespeople for both Republican leaders did not comment.

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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