TAMPA, Fla. -- A member of the U.S. Secret Service detail assigned to Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney inadvertently left a firearm unattended in the bathroom of the candidate's chartered flight Wednesday from Tampa to Indianapolis.
A reporter using the restroom later discovered the pistol next to the bathroom sink and alerted a flight attendant, who summoned a Secret Service agent to retrieve the weapon.
It remains unclear whether the weapon was loaded, and how long it was left in the 737's restroom before being discovered.
"We are aware of the incident. We take the care and custody of our equipment, especially firearms, very seriously," a spokesman for the Secret Service told NBC News. "We will deal with this matter internally and in an appropriate manner."
A spokesperson for the Romney campaign declined to comment on the matter, referring all questions to the Secret Service.
Romney first received Secret Service protection in January, following his victory in the Florida primary. His wife Ann received her own personal detail just last week.