Colorado Rep. Don Wilson leaves gun unattended at state Capitol

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Springs lawmaker Don Wilson left his firearm unattended at the state Capitol building on Tuesday, according to a statement.

Wilson, a Republican representing House District 20, claimed in his statement that he left his firearm “briefly unattended” after the building was closed to the public.

This statement was also posted on X on Thursday. In his statement, he refers to the incident as a “mistake” and that he is “very sorry.”

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“I take firearm safety very seriously. This is a humbling experience and I will reaffirm my commitment to responsible handling procedures,” Wilson said in his statement.

Colorado State Patrol said in a release that a janitor found the gun, a loaded 9 mm Glock handgun, inside a restroom. The gun was left unattended for 23 minutes, according to CSP, and returned to Wilson that night.

Capitol security protocol

The incident comes as lawmakers consider the proposed Senate Bill 24-131: “Prohibiting Carrying Firearms in Sensitive Spaces.” This proposed bill would ban open and concealed firearms in government buildings, which includes legislators.

Right now, it is unlawful for someone to carry a gun in the building except for “individuals with Capitol credentials and access” who are following state laws, according to CSP. Concealed carry is also prohibited at the Capitol, according to Capitol security protocols.

A similar situation occurred in 2022 when state Rep. Richard Holtorf’s gun fell off in the Capitol.

An investigation determined no state laws were broken in the recent incident.

Colorado House Republicans released a statement on Thursday evening: “Individuals with Capitol credentials and access are permitted to carry a firearm inside the secure areas in compliance with Colorado gun laws.”

Democrats release statements

On Thursday, Colorado House Democrats released statements about Wilson leaving the firearm in the state Capitol.

The consequences of leaving a firearm unattended in a public space could be very serious, and the incident this week created a dangerous situation. This should not have happened and cannot happen again, and this is why our caucus is pursuing legislation to prohibit carrying firearms in the Capitol. I hope Rep. Wilson appreciates the severity of his mistake and the safety concern this has created for us in the Capitol.

House Speaker Julie McCluskie

As a responsible firearm owner, it’s frustrating and disappointing to continually see colleagues make mistakes with their guns. Everyone who carries a firearm must do so with the utmost care at all times, which is why it is so important to me that people receive proper training and observe it and that we strengthen the requirements for a concealed carry permit. I’ve expressed my deepest concerns to Rep. Wilson and Minority Leadership. It’s my expectation that he follows through with his commitment not to carry his firearm at the Capitol.

House Majority Leader Monica Duran

FOX31 is looking into whether Wilson has a concealed carry permit.

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