Boys make the right move with loaded gun in theater
Kolton McKinney, left, and Levi Crabtree found a loaded handgun in an Oregon theater.
December 20th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

Boys make the right move with loaded gun in theater

With the horrific news involving guns from Newtown, Connecticut, in the past week, here’s a story with a happy ending and one that illustrates how kids can be more responsible than adults when it comes to weapons.

On Wednesday morning in Tillamook, Oregon, a city of 5,000 near the Pacific Ocean, a group of seventh-grade students were on a field trip to the local Coliseum Theatre to watch "The Hobbit." The outing was a reward for getting good grades.

It turns out these kids were more than book-smart.

When Kolton McKinney pulled his seat down, something fell from it.

“He sat down in his chair and I heard a ‘clunk’ and I looked down and there it was,” Kolton’s classmate, Levi Crabtree, told CNN affiliate KGW in Portland.

The gun the boys found in the theater.

It was a gun, a small-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. It was fully loaded with a round in the chamber, Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said.

Levi and Kolton didn’t touch the weapon. They alerted a school staffer who was on the field trip, who then alerted police.

Why didn’t the boys pick up the firearm?

"I'm a Boy Scout and Kolton and me took a hunter safety class. One of the rules is that you treat all guns as if they're loaded," Levi told KPTV.

“Who would do that? Seriously, there’s a bunch of people that go to that theater and they put a gun in there,” Kolton told KGW.

Somebody who’s “careless” and “reckless,” Wright said.

Police told KPTV that a man went to the theater on Wednesday night asking if anyone had found his gun and turned it in to the lost and found. He’d lost it the night before in the theater.

The man, who has a Tillamook County concealed handgun license, never notified police he’d lost the weapon, KPTV reported.

Luckily, the two Tillamook Junior High School students were thinking more clearly.

"Our students reacted exactly like we would hope and that is they recognized that is was a gun, recognized that they needed to stay away and contact a teacher immediately," Tillamook school Superintendent Randy Schild told KPTV. "I hope this is a learning opportunity not only for our students, but any students that see it on TV or anywhere else."

Police did not identify the man who lost the gun but told CNN his concealed-carry permit has been revoked and information about the case was being forwarded to the district attorney.

We forward our compliments to two smart seventh-graders.

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Filed under: Education • Gun violence • Oregon • U.S.
soundoff (614 Responses)
  1. amanda s

    congrats to these two very smart boys for acting so mature in such a mature situation. kids get a bad rap these days and they did the most important things they stayed calm and did what they knew was right.

    December 21, 2012 at 2:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. Spartan

    They need to Revoke his License for the permit and up the required training to carry a firearm he Oviously wasnt useing a proper holster and or Secrued the ammo corectly if there was a round in the chamber I didnt even have a round in the chamber on 3 of my 4 years in combat ...

    December 21, 2012 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  3. Spartan

    I always recheck the Latch on my holster and Atach a cord to my 9mm when carried what was this guys problem.

    December 21, 2012 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
  4. Neo

    Which is more in US today, A gun or a Cell Phone?

    December 21, 2012 at 4:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. jamessavik

    Non-idiots + gun == good results

    December 21, 2012 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
    • brakerbaker

      Non-idiots + no gun = even better result.

      December 21, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. KP

    And the kids were supposed to do what? Pick up the gun and wave it around shouting "I found a gun!!" To say that their common sense of not putting anyone in danger or causing confusion by taking possession of the gun is "more than book-smart" is ridiculous.

    December 21, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • sr

      Common sense is not too common among 7th graders. Im sure there are many more kids that age who would have been more curious and may have moved the gun or yes, even waved it around to brag to their friends..These boys were definitely more mature than most 7 th graders that Ive worked with.

      December 21, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • MB

      They showed more comment sense then the idiot who owns it. Tucking a gun into your waistband is not an acceptable means of concealed carry. It needs to be kept in a holster specifically to prevent incidents like dropping your gun. He also broke the law by failing to immediately report a lost firearm to the police. Not only should his concealed carry license be revoked, he should also be added to a ban list until he demonstrates he can pass a firearms safety course. Irresponsible gun owners like him and Nancy Lanza are the reason everyone's 2nd amendment rights are in jeopardy.

      December 21, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
    • cindy nold

      The story said their was training behind the appropriate action of these students. Training is for young people, too. It's about safety. Many schools and youth organizations in my state allow or encourage minimal to comprehensive training in gun safety. It's a good thing.

      December 21, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      No – most kids of that age would have picked up the gun, placed it in their pocket or backpack and then done something stupid in a day or two. These kids should be applauded for their actions given most people (adult or kid) wouldn't have done the same thing.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cutoffmocha

    Go BSA we rock

    December 21, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. Portland tony

    Being stupid doesn't disqualify you from getting a gun permit. You can pass all the background checks and still not be the sharpest tool in the shed! Bet if he had lost his wallet in the theater, he wouldn't have left without reporting it!

    December 21, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  9. sr

    really Barb? Good grief

    December 21, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. JAB62

    They'll let any moron own a gun and carry it concealed. You have to take a test to drive and wield a two thousand pound weapon why not the same for owning a gun and carrying? That way we have a chance to weed out the morons. At least they took away his permit. Why didn't he go to the very seat he was sitting in and look? It's not like he left his freaking sweater behind.

    December 21, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Good point ...But who's gonna tell some gun toting yahoo, he or she just "failed" the "moron" gun packing test!

      December 21, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • JAB62

      @Portland tony
      A State cop with a BFG.

      December 21, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. JAB62

    I heard the guy's name was Wayne LaPierre

    December 21, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andrew

    And this is a good example about the importance of a quality holster. I bet the owner had it in his pocket or waistband, and that is why it fell out. Not excusing it, just sayin...

    December 21, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. hazyjoe

    really sr, good grief...

    December 21, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. Boooourns!

    I guess the dude who lost his gun is one of those guys that people keep saying could have stopped the movie theatre shooter a few months back.

    If he any idea where his gun was. He probably would have ended up getting shot in the a ss while he was crawling under his seat looking for his little pea shooter.

    Unfortunately the 2nd ammendment says everyone has the right to bear arms, but makes no provision about being responsible or intelligent with those weapons.

    December 21, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Honest Truth

    It's almost unbelievable that no one conducted a search after the gun's owner inquired about it. Have people always been this stupid?

    December 21, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Readsalot

      Read the original story in the Tillamook Headlight Herald and The Oregonian. There are lots of details that were left out of this story.
      1. The police were called and removed all the children from the theater.
      2. A search was conducted of the building, after nothing else was found the police allowed the children to return and watch the movie, an officer stayed at the theater until the children’s field trip was done.
      3. The owner of the gun did NOT report it missing to the police; he waited until the next day to make inquiries of the theater personnel. He did state that he had called the theater later that evening but was unable to talk to anyone.

      December 21, 2012 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
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