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He was too embarrassed to call the police himself and asked his assistant to make the call instead. Dave Evans, a staffer for Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones, R-110, left his loaded gun behind in a Capitol bathroom while he was taking a dump.

Missouri Capitol Building, Jefferson City, Missouri
No harm was done—another staffer found the gun and brought it to the police.  
Tom Smith, Speaker Jones’ chief of staff, says Mr. Evans will have to take a gun-safety course, even though he already was legally carrying a concealed weapon.
Everyone in Jefferson City, Missouri can thank that staffer for using common sense and doing more than the minimum required by Missouri law. It is shocking that Missouri
does not require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to the police. Even more shocking is the fact that, as of 2010, only seven states have passed laws requiring lost or stolen guns to be reported to the police, (MI, OH, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA).

When Hillsborough County, Florida, Deputy Luke Hussey did the same thing at a movie theater three months ago, he was demoted and suspended by his boss, Sheriff David Gee.

The 13-year veteran of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office was off-duty and celebrating Father's Day on June 16 when he left the loaded 9mm Glock pistol with a 10-round magazine filled with bullets on the toilet dispenser in a Tampa theater bathroom
Two guns left in a public bathroom. One carrier, a sworn sheriff's deputy, has to take a bite or two of a huge shit sandwich. The other, whose job does not require him to carry, a man working in a building with ample professional armed security already, has to take gun-safety classes. Two very different punishments for the same offense.

And if you think sloppy civilian gun owners get off easy compared to sloppy cops, you should consider what happens to soldiers who lose their guns.

Join me below the fold.

That same day, Slate republished a Quora page: "What Happens if You Misplace Your Weapon on Deployment?

The answer came from Henryk Bronislaw Hinkle-Zaleski Jr., an Army officer who had done one deployment in Iraq. "It matters," he writes. "Oh good heavens, does it matter. You cannot imagine the hell you would catch if you lost your weapon (or had it mixed up with someone else's)." Normally this is easy to catch, he explains, because of the serial numbers and the different adjustments soldiers make to their weapons.

But if you don't find it, "it's about to get bad.."

The first priority is locating your weapon. The military will literally shut down an installation to find an errant weapon. There is no stone they will not turn over, no length to which you will not be driven to find that weapon. They will recall everyone who was in your location for the last day, line them up, and read off serial numbers until they find it. I've seen people practically holding hands as they walk through the woods looking for a lost weapon. I've seen entire battalions placed on lockdown and forced to stay in their location into the wee hours of the morning, and they would still be there if the weapon were not located.

After that hell of wasting hundreds of people's time, keeping people from their missions or their families or their personal time, after making everyone so insanely mad at whoever was careless enough to lose their weapon, what happens to you?

Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice the lightest punishment possible under those circumstances would be a Company Grade Article 15. In addition to being docked a week's pay, that's two weeks of restriction (i.e., no leave) and extra duty and a one-grade reduction in rank (with the attending reduction in pay). If commanders aren't feeling so generous, or if (God forbid) this happens in a combat zone, it's a Field Grade Article 15: two months at half pay, two months of restriction, 45 days of extra duty and demotion of as much as three levels of rank.

One commenter at AR15.com puts it cuts to the chase and puts it as only a grunt can:

[Y]ou [are] so very, very, very very, very very, fucked. Not just a little fucked, but a big old 55 gallon drum of concentrated, industrial strength, monitored by EPA and has to have a HAZMAT team on standby fucked.
Needless to say this also goes on a soldier's record. For an enlistee things like this are possibly career-enders, since they may preclude further promotions and the Army has an "up or out" rule. For an officer, Hinkle-Zaleski explains, there is no ambiguity. "Your career is over. You may as well start looking around for a new job and hope you don't get a bad discharge."

So, Dave Evans really got off easy. As did, I should add, everyone else in the Missouri State Capitol that day.

But will they next time? Or will we have to wait for someone to get shot?


The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment.  We also cover the many positive aspects of gun ownership, including hunting, shooting sports, and self-defense.

To see our list of original and republished diaries, go to the Firearms Law and Policy diary list. Click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to our group name to add our posts to your stream, and use the link next to the heart to send a message to the group if you have a question or would like to join.

We have adopted Wee Mama's and akadjian's guidance on communicating.  But most important, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Originally posted to Firearms Law and Policy on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

Poll

What penalty should Dave Evans face for leaving his loaded handgun in a public restroom in the Missouri Capitol Building?

3%2 votes
1%1 votes
8%5 votes
0%0 votes
5%3 votes
6%4 votes
3%2 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
48%28 votes
0%0 votes
20%12 votes

| 58 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Demonstrated that he cannot be trusted (10+ / 0-)

    with deadly force. He should never be allowed to carry a firearm.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:18:27 AM PDT

  •  Why do civilian gun owners get off so easy? (11+ / 0-)

    Nice comparison Daniel

    He certainly should face a more serious fine/sanction than a parking ticket. But I was torn, for a first offense, between 3 and 6 months loss of RKBA and the  $500 fine.

    Since he did notice that he forgot it and he did ask his assistant to call the police right away, I chose 3 months loss of RKBA, to acknowledge that notifying the police was the right thing to do.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:34:35 AM PDT

  •  Irresponsibility Can Not Be Tolerated (6+ / 0-)

    If you tolerate stupidity and screwups, you will get stupidity and screwups.

    Take away his concealed carry, at the very least.

    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx (-8.75,-8.36)

    by alain2112 on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:42:38 AM PDT

  •  Moms Demand Action (8+ / 0-)

    From your link the law allowing concealed carry in the Missouri Capitol was only passed in 2011. So for many decades the Capitol was safe enough for ordinary people and elected Reps to work there, and schools to take their field trips to visit, then suddenly in 2011 it was necessary to allow civilians to carry concealed guns there.

    Who are they kidding?

    The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action... is also calling schools and asking them to cancel their planned field trips to the Capitol, which houses the Missouri State Museum.

    The museum received more than 470,000 visitors last year, according to its website. Of those, 30,000 were children on guided tours, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

    Morgan said that just as mothers call their children’s friends’ houses before play dates to make sure all firearms are secured, parents and schools should be aware of safety risks within the Capitol building.

    'My son is supposed to go later in the school year, and I don’t feel safe sending him to the Capitol,' she said.

    The Moms Demand Action group hopes its effort will help change the 2011 concealed-carry law.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 08:51:29 AM PDT

  •  Remember kids (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suesue, Miggles, oldpotsmuggler

    an armed dump is a secure dump. Keep a .22 around whe you do number 2!

  •  Why is't this asshole in jail and unarmed, must be (6+ / 0-)

    a VIWP (very important white person).

    tipped & rec;ed

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 09:01:27 AM PDT

  •  One comparison is leaving the engine running (7+ / 0-)

    of your car. That's against the law in some (all?) states, with various penalties. In TX, it's up $200 fine + up to 30 days.

    Spending as much as 30 days in the can sounds about right to me for doing something as bone-headed as leaving a loaded gun in the, uh, can.

  •  Put him on latrine duty (4+ / 0-)

    Cleaning out the capital toilets with a toothbrush (preferably his).

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 09:56:14 AM PDT

  •  These people who do not have the concentration (10+ / 0-)

    necessary to successfully handle and store a deadly weapon should lose privileges for many many years.

    Only gun owners can control their guns and they say oopsie way too much. I lost it, I forgot it, it just went off. Support Gun Kill Speed Limits and Gun Ownership Speed Limits.

    by 88kathy on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 10:07:28 AM PDT

    •  Kathy, it's okay to use the term "rights" because (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Daniel Case, a2nite

      there literally is no "right" in our society that can not be forfeited after the offender is accorded Due Process of Law. Where society has a legitimate interest in protecting itself or its members, appropriate regulation is enacted, with sufficient procedural protections being in place, any and all sanctions (short of "Crule and Unusual Punishment") are available to be imposed.

      This idea that we, as a society, hold anything to be sacrosanct, and especially not guns, is preposterous.

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:43:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He made the GunFail list! (6+ / 0-)

    Nice article.  Thanks for posting.

    Mr. Evans has been honored with inclusion into this week's GunFail list (right here on dkos).

    I'm guessing his consequence for being reckless while armed and for not paying attention is a new hand-gun courtesy of one of his boss's gun industry sponsors, maybe with a year's supply of ammo.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 10:17:01 AM PDT

  •  His RKBA should be permanentky and completely (5+ / 0-)

    revoked. We cannot afford a "3 strikes" type of approach with firearms; they are simply too dangerous. Once a "responsible gun owner" demonstrates they are not actually responsible, they should lose their right to own weapons. Period. At the very least, they should lose their right to carry them publicly and go back to the most restrictive possible form of ownership (can only carry them in the trunk, unloaded, when on the way to a licensed range, etc).

  •  I chose this.... (0+ / 0-)
    Forfeit his Concealed Carry Weapons permit, until he takes a safety training class.
    I'll explain individual facets of that as separate points.

    I didn't opt for the suspension of a protected right, because I do not know where the guy lives NOR what sort of places he might go NOR his commute. We can presume he doesn't live in a crime-present area, but that doesn't mean he doesn't go to places like a grocery store or a mall or such places.

    I didn't opt for a fine because that inherently punishes the poor more than the rich or well-off.

    And making the guy lose his job, that's a punishment on not only him but also his family and children and pets. Would it really be morally right to hit the children with an unemployed dad? Furthermore, that's a punishment on US because then he goes on some sort of unemployment! So, no resignation or termination.

    And the diarist didn't include a "something else not in those choices" option for the poll, so I couldn't choose that and then propose that he be required to check his weapon(s) with the security team upon arrival, for a period of 364 days. Make him walk up to the security desk each time he enters the building and put his weapon in a locker. Such things are required to be in place for public use in some states. Google results aren't giving me citations to back up what I remember, because facilities to check weapons is mixed up with all the results for background checks, but there are such laws out there. I'm pretty sure PA is one that requires there be lockers for me to check a weapon if I go to the courthouse. But whichever, the sentence of making the guy take the long road through the security station each day, each trip in and out, sign the log in and out, should not only drill weapon location into his head in a way that will have an impact but will also serve as an example to others.

    •  Do we have your permission to have criminal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite

      sanctions against persons (and their kids, spouses, family members, neighbors, who in the hell knows who all you include?) who inadvertenly show up at airport security having packed what I guess they just "innocently" got used to always packing?

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sat Oct 05, 2013 at 06:33:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope. And you are changing the topic. (0+ / 0-)

        I'll point out that you have changed the topic from punishment for leaving a gun behind inside a secured location to the topic of arriving at a secured location that is not a destination with a gun.

        Your example differs from the diary topic in that the staffer spends his day inside that secure location while the airplane passenger is merely passing through the secured location, presumably arriving at a distant destination where they can again carry their weapon.

        Your example also differs from the diary topic in that the staffer goes to that secure location every workday, while the airplane passenger surely does not go to the airport and ride a plane every workday.

        These two fundamental differences between the events in the diary and your example show why your attempt to change the topic is A BULLSHIT DICK MANEUVER.

        You show me a plane passenger who goes to ride a plane five days a week and I'll show you a person who deserves your duplicitous phrasing "inadvertently show up at airport security having packed what I guess they just 'innocently' got used to always packing"

        Until you can show me that person, kindly fuck off with your attempt at changing the topic in order to create a straw man.

  •  He needs or be called stupid gun owner (0+ / 0-)

    Irresponsible gun owner.

    Dumbass gun owner.

    White privileged gun owner.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sun Oct 06, 2013 at 02:43:26 PM PDT

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