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Police did not identify the man who lost the gun but told CNN his concealed-carry permit has been revoked and information about the case was being forwarded to the district attorney.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

    New gun control laws will be useless. The current ones worked and prevented the wacko from getting a gun so he just went and got one from his mom.

    December 21, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. ames

    the gun was traced back to the owner..how could it be the kid's...Barb???

    December 21, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. eddie eagle

    Eddie Eagle Says:

    Stop!
    Dont Touch!
    Leave the Area!
    Tell an Adult!

    IT WORKED!!!! Thanks NRA!

    December 21, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Tumbleweed

      Yeah, Don't give the NRA any credit. They've simply kept our 2nd Amendment from being trampled on and educated countless young people about responsible firearm use for over a hundred years. Without the NRA our 2nd Amendment would have been destroyed 50 years ago.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • GunGun

      Most overlook the truth and the facts.
      The fact is that the NRA provides more safety training for civilian and law enforcement than anyone else in the USA, probaly the world.
      Nothing to see here, move along, ignore the facts.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. barbara

    After the massacre at the Aurora theater is it any wonder that someone who has a concealed gun permit might take it to a theater? His problem is that he didn't immediately report the loss to the police and tell them where he suspects he lost it.

    December 21, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  5. adventure49

    I wonder if the guy that lost his gun in the theater is a school teacher? After all, we need a million or so teachers packing to protect all their students.

    December 21, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Basher

    Revoking his license was the right thing to do. Forwarding to the DA? Why? Are you going to charge him with a crime for losing his gun? This is absurd.

    December 21, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Not for losing

      Absolutely send it to the DA. Not for losing his gun, but for not following the LAW in reporting it to the police immediately after discovering it was lost.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  7. Me

    I'm glad his license was revoked! He doesn't deserve to have one!

    December 21, 2012 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ben in Indy

    You can regulate firearms, but you can't regulate stupid and irresponsible!

    December 21, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      That's exactly correct, so stop with the regulations.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Rush

      Sure you can. How many years will this careless gun owner get for not securing his weapon? None. There's a law for you.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • DeathsChoice

      How many years for accidentally dropping his gun? And we wonder why we are by FAR the country with the highest per capita of adults in jail. He should probably do 3-5 years... you know the same amount as people who like weed... Maybe you should get 6 months for your stupid post...

      December 21, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      Rush I love your comments

      December 21, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • EasyAs223

      I think the more remarkable thing in this story is the kids were both scouts and therefore exposed to gun safety and not completely ignorant toward firearms. Most of the commentators here wouldn't know what to do if they'd found that weapon. The very fact that these lads were educated and familiar with firearms in general says that's the answer. Teach children to fully respect firearms(and life) early on. Handling fake guns that hold no consequence (simulated warfare and whatnot) doesn't teach them the massive power and therefore responsibility that comes with firearm ownership.

      December 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simpleton2

      Poster Rush, let's just put half the country in jail ... maybe we can eliminate unemployment or bankrupt the nation, whichever comes first ....

      December 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MilitaryAF

    Just for comparison – Believe it or not, it's not unheard of that FBI Agents inadvertently forget their weapons here & there, including airports when they travel. Just because someone forgets their weapon somewhere doesn't mean everyone should freak out.

    December 21, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Rush

      No, but it means we obviously don't have strong laws requiring these people secure their weapons.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • pazke

      There is a difference between leaving an unloaded gun that is locked up for travel on a conveyor belt at the airport and having a loaded gun with a round in the chamber fall out of your pocket in a theater. It is absolutely a big deal.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Spdair79

      I agree with Military AF, sort of. It is a big deal to the persons involved and may carry consequences (This fellow had his permit revoked, which could affect his job). That doesn't mean that everyone else should freak out. There are laws about DUI but people still do it.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. Drew

    Yes, CCW holders save the day again ... oops

    December 21, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  11. If you only had a brain

    A round in the chmaber? This person does not deserve a gun nor do the rest of us need a paranoid idiot running around with a gun.

    December 21, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Most that carry carry in Condition 1, i.e. round in the chamber, there are a ton of different safety mechanisms to prevent a discharge.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. justthefactsmaam

    Another story used to incite panic and irrational comments. Accidents happen. Perhaps if all parents raised their kids appropriatly, like these young gentlemens did, we would have a safer society.

    You want to blame someone blame parents for not being good teachers and role models. Lets turn this story into how good their parents did raising them.

    Bravo boys well done.

    December 21, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Sure, accidents do happen. But this irresponsible gun owner didn't accidentally chamber a round, and didn't accidentally not notify police.

      Kudos to the kids anyhow for acting responsibly.

      December 21, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Sandra

      Yes, accidents do happen, and I feel the appropriate punishment was incurred. The irresponsible gun owner lost his concealed carry permit, as the law prescribes, because he did not inform police that his weapon was missing. That is an important part of the story, which CNN has done no more than report as fact.

      The real story is the action those boys took, and again CNN reported fact. Former Boy Scouts, these boys had the proper gun safety training and had developed the responsible mindset to take appropriate action. So refreshing to read something positive about Scouting, after all the terrible stories about abuses. I hope more parents realize that programs like Scouting have much to offer young people, and that with responsible, watchful parenting to protect the kids and the ideals of Scouting, it will remain a relevant program to reinforce our young people's journey to responsible adulthood.

      This was not an article written to incite anything. CNN reported facts.

      December 21, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • LBP

      And what if someone like the Oregon mall shooter had found the gun and used it b/c "he needed a gun"? Would you freak out then? Or is it still not a big deal to you?

      December 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ban Assault Weapons

    As a republican NRA member, I defend my right to enable the massacre of dozens of innocent children just so I can get off on owning lots of cool guns, and manage my paranoias about everybody out to get me.

    December 21, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      You couldn't be a republican, even if you went out and got a job!

      December 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. PROLETARIAT

    What is all the dramatics about. I have the comforting knowledge that the NRA WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND me if I decide to arm myself with missile launchers , mortars, anti tank missiles and shoulder fire missiles against pesky neighbours !

    December 21, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. chris

    a person put it on propose and make people gets more angry.

    December 21, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
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