Missouri House staffer who left gun in Capitol bathroom resigns

Thursday, October 3, 2013 | 5:05 p.m. CDT; updated 6:15 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 3, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri legislative assistant who left his gun in a Capitol bathroom last month has resigned,  House communications director Trevor Fox said.

Dave Evans, who worked for House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, faced backlash from gun-safety advocates after he left his gun on top of a toilet-paper dispenser in the Capitol basement Sept. 20.

Evans, who had a concealed-carry permit for the firearm, agreed to take a gun safety course after the incident. A 2011 law allows legislative staff with concealed-carry permits to bring firearms into the Capitol.

Tom Smith, Jones' chief of staff, said he accepted Evans' resignation Sept. 27.

"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 in a statement released Thursday.

"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 said.

The Missouri chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which expressed outrage after Capitol police found Evans' gun unattended, said it will continue to push for changes in the 2011 law.

"We don't feel that it is safe to wait for a child to be injured or killed before we change the law that allows legislative staff to bring firearms into the Capitol," said Rebecca Morgan, a spokeswoman for the Missouri chapter.

Morgan said members of the chapter have hand-delivered 50 letters to schools with planned field trips to the Missouri Capitol, urging them to reconsider.

She said the group was pleased to hear that Evans had resigned.

"We think that this is the responsible thing to do," she said.

Neither an email nor a phone call to a number listed for Evans was returned Thursday afternoon.

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