CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — A mother and her preteen daughter were shocked on Sunday when they went to use the restroom at the Kroger on Emily Drive in Clarksburg and found an unattended handgun in the stall.

While the presence of the gun may be shocking, gun safety websites say that finding a gun in a public bathroom really isn’t that uncommon. In the same way that someone might remove their phone or wallet from their pocket prior to using the restroom, gun carriers also tend to remove their firearm from their belt or holster. Occasionally, the guns get left behind by mistake.

According to the Clarksburg Police Department, this is exactly what happened in Clarksburg over the weekend. Someone who was carrying the weapon legally removed it to use the restroom and simply forgot to put it back on. There was no crime involved and the gun was returned to its owner, police told 12 News.

The gun that was found in the bathroom at Kroger on Emily Drive over the weekend (Courtesy: Sarah Vincent)

But just because most guns are left by mistake doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take it seriously if you find one unattended. If you do happen to find an unattended gun in a public place or restroom, here are some steps you should take, according to gun lifestyle websites Recoil and Concealed Nation:

Take a picture of the weapon exactly where you found it to give police documentation of the weapon. Avoid touching or moving the gun. It could be dangerous, stolen or involved in criminal activity.

If in a store, tell the employees. If the store/restroom is mostly empty and no one else is likely to walk into the same stall, you can go get an employee. If the store is busy, tell someone else to go get an employee. If you have your cell phone with you, another option is to call the store from the restroom so that the weapon is not left unattended.

If you are in a public place like a park, Recoil suggested you call a non-emergency police line. For Clarksburg Police, that number is (304) 624-1610.

Even after the store employees/police have been notified, you should wait for law enforcement to arrive so you can give a statement.

While the vast majority of guns left in public places are accidental, you should always use an abundance of caution. Never, in any case, take the gun with you or think, “Hey, free gun!”