JEFFERSON CITY • A Missouri House legislative staffer who recently left a loaded gun in a public Capitol restroom has resigned.
Dave Evans, 64, of O’Fallon, Mo., was working as a legislative assistant for House Speaker Tim Jones when he faced a public backlash after he left his 9 mm pistol on top of the toilet paper dispenser in a men’s restroom in the Capitol basement on Sept. 20.
Jones’ chief of staff Tom Smith said in a statement Thursday that he accepted Evans’ letter of resignation on Friday.
“While I was satisfied with the corrective actions Dave agreed to take to make amends for his mistake, he ultimately felt it was in the best interests of his colleagues and friends in the Capitol, as well as for himself and his family, to move on to another endeavor,” Smith said.
“The office will sorely miss his strong work ethic and high level of professionalism, but we wish him the best of luck as he moves on to what I am sure will be a successful next step in his professional career.”
Smith had previously said that Evans, who has a concealed gun permit and could legally carry it in the Capitol as an employee, would take an additional gun safety course because of the incident and that Evans was “extremely remorseful about this unfortunate incident.”
According to state Capitol police, Evans’ gun was found in the bathroom by another Capitol employee. It’s unclear how long it had been left there, but another Jones staffer called about an hour after it was found to report it missing. The police incident report noted that the gun “was fully loaded with one round in the chamber and six rounds in the magazine.”
A law passed in 2011 allows Missouri legislators and their employees to have guns in the Capitol if they have concealed gun permits.
The incident report states that Evans was found to have a concealed carry permit. He recently started working as assistant legislative director for Jones, R-Eureka, after several years in the telecom industry. He unsuccessfully ran for the state House in 2010.