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Capitol Police under scrutiny for guns left unattended

U.S. Capitol Police stand guard in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty)
U.S. Capitol Police stand guard in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The United States Capitol Police are under scrutiny again after reports surfaced Friday that officers have left their guns unattended at the Capitol Complex at least three times this year.

"The recent reports of unattended firearms left behind by U.S. Capitol Police Officers are extremely concerning," House Administration Chairman Candice Miller (R-MI) and Ranking Member Robert Brady (D-PA) said in a joint statement. "The fact that dangerous weapons were left in the open, potentially within reach of the general public, is unacceptable."

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According to Roll Call — who first reported these incidents — a 7- or 8-year-old found an unattended loaded Glock on March 24.

"A member of the security detail for John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, allegedly left the firearm in the bathroom of the Speaker's Suite," the newspaper wrote.

A Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) employee found a weapon belonging to a member of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's security detail inside a toilet seat cover holder in the CVC on Jan. 29 and on April 16, a janitor found another weapon in plain sight at the Capitol Police headquarters building.

The Speaker's office referred all questions to Capitol Police.

Reached for comment by NBC News, the Capitol Police said they take "very seriously all breaches of Department rules."

"Each disciplinary matter is thoroughly investigated and reviewed, employees are held accountable for their conduct, and they are provided due process in adjudicating these 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," Capitol Police spokesman Shennell Antrobus said.

The House Administration Committee, which oversees security for the House, want answers to how these incidents were able to happen.

"We will be looking for a full briefing on these incidents, how they happened, what corrective action has been taken, and how we hopefully do not have similar instances in the future," Reps Miller and Brady wrote.

The Capitol Police and Chief Kim C. Dine have already been dealing with ongoing questions about how the agency handled their response to a gyrocopter landing on the West Front last month.

NBC News' Frank Thorp IV contributed to this article, which originally appeared on