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Police did not identify the man who lost the gun but told CNN his concealed-carry permit has been revoked and information about the case was being forwarded to the district attorney.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

    He was just asserting his 2nd amendment rights to see the movie without listening to people talking on cell phones!

    December 20, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Fla native

    Props to the kids. No gold star for the owner, however. Did the gun fall out? Did he place it there on purpose? In short: WHAT WAS HE THINKING? was he thinking? Don't look that way. 3 days detention & 10 demerits.

    December 20, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack

      Thinking, what was he thinking? Nothing! Nada! Zip!

      December 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Josh

    IMHO, this idiot should have his gun and "carry" permits all cancelled. All his guns confiscated. And he should spend at least 100 days in the state's max prison.

    Just shows that NRA members are indeed pretty irresponsible.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ted

      He should have his license suspended. I always know where my firearm is and would have known within seconds if it had fallen out of its holster. Very few CCW holders would allow this to happen.

      December 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anders Behring Breivik (King of the Island)

      Hey Slick...how do you know that he is a NRA member?

      December 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • shamus

      Was with you until your last sentence when your brain quit working. Why not try again?

      December 20, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Read they did "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."

      December 20, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill

      permit was revoked-charges forwarded to DA-nowhere does it say he was a member of NRA-do not need to be a member of nra to get permit.

      January 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jim8

    Someone proving why carrying a concealed weapon isn't a good idea.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Not a Scholar

      You can't fix stupid....

      December 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      You're trying to argue that a single case of a misplaced weapon by someone with a concealed carry permit is proof that concealed carry is a bad idea, all the while completely ignoring all the other statistics and data on the matter regarding, say, crimes prevented by people with concealed carry permits?

      You're too stupid to be allowed to live. Ingest an entire bottle of extra-strength Drano immediately.

      December 20, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Albert Rogers

      I'd like to know where the statistics are of people who prevented a gunman with a 15-cartridge magazine (or more) from killing anybody, by shoooting him. I do know of three IRA terrorists who were prevented from blowing up something in Britain's Gibraltar stronghold, by professional soldiers shooting them.
      Most unfortunately, the sequel to this was a graveyard scene in Belfast, where some mourners attending the funeral of these "victims" of the British, were indiscriminately shot by one of the local Protestant "loyalist" terrorists. Guns, Religion, and Patriotism - an Unholy Trinity.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  5. Becca

    Smart Kids...But what did the person who had it and reported it lost even have it there in the 1st place????????? I'd have to have his back ground checked, Someone knew that gun was there and I do believe my self that the person who put it there knew3 he put it there. Just like the kids and teachers shot to death at that school this past week, it is on TV and news papers all over the country still. And when this happens it seems to bring all of the crazies out.
    Well now that this cun was found in the theater on the seat I feel who ever the owner maybe he should be charged with indangering children. Lost or what who care so reason why police was not called in when he lost it.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Becca

      Sorry Typo's Gun not cun

      December 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

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

      December 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      In order for him to have a license to carry concealed he had to have and pass background check. People make honest mistakes too not everything is an evil plot to destroy the world.

      December 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roscoe

      Rebecca, please make up your mind. You cannot have it both ways. It appears that you have ESP or are a clairvoyant to know so much about a crime before the police have released any real info.
      Come on folks, lets get real here.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Albert Rogers

      We can conclude from Ted's response that background checks do not include checking for carelessness. Not that I'd say we should ban all handguns on that account. But if the likelihood of such stupidity is one in a thousand days per dozen guns carried in this manner, then a gun carrying 25 rounds is likely to "innocently" kill more than four times as many people as a six-gun.

      January 5, 2013 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Abel

    Oops. I guess that shows that civilians are as dumb as Secret Service agents that protect the President.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Blossom

      Yep, I've heard stories of several law enforcement types leaving their service weapons in bathrooms over the years.

      December 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Smith

    He should lose his carry permit for that.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ted

      and probably will.

      December 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Craig

    I myself am really starting to disreguard anything i see published as news. They want to take away gun owners rights, who is to say they haven't taken the freedom of the press rights away already.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sam

      Dude, be quiet.

      December 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jojothebobo

      Me, myself, and I personally second Sam's sentiment.

      January 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. The Oppossum King

    Matt,

    Exactly what law would you put in place here?

    December 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joel

      Oppossum King, how about a law that says, if you leave a gun in public, especially one that is loaded and has a round chambered, you spend 6 months in jail for criminal neglect, felony endangerment of safety or in this case, felony child endangerment?

      December 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MB

      Agree 100%!

      December 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      That should be law of the land everywhere. Permanent loss of a license to carry. I support the illegalization of assault weapons (or all weapons made to look like them) and the revocation of ALL conceal and carry licenses. If you have a job requirement or similar need, carry it on your hip. Police do.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Belle Dogg

      How about you lose your CCW. Lost your loaded weapon. DUMB! Carried with a round in the chamber. DUMB! Two reasons to lose your permit. Actually only one reason. DUMB.

      December 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee Downie

      I like that. Something to get the owner/loser's attention... no house arrest, no bail, no weasel words from his lawyer: six months solid.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobert

      There a many responsible gun owners around the US, but people like this guy make gun owners look careless. He should have to pay a fine equal to the value of the weapon lost or turn it in if he can't afford the fine.
      What kind of holster did the guy have? I'm thinking he didn't have one at all. After losing my wallet as a child I always check to make sure I have it whenever I stand up he should do the same with his concealed weapon.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      "Exactly what law would you put in place here?"

      One that says if you're too irresponsible to keep track of a loaded firearm, you're too irresponsible to own firearms. And if you lose a firearm that is ready to fire, you have created a public hazard and deserve jail time.

      I've never heard any opposition to gun control that didn't include the argument that gun owners are responsible and make everyone safer, which is exactly the opposite of what happened here. This guy isn't any better than a drunk driver.

      December 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • dulcimer172

      Reckless endangerment.

      December 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      How about, a ban on semi autos to start. Anyone using one is arrested. Period. Even if it is to shoot paper targets.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      Here's a law. No citizen that's not police or military should have a conceal and carry permit. You want to shoot guns on a range, fine. You want to have a weapon in you home, fine. You want to walk around with you weapon in a public space, pi$$-off.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer

      The law that says that if you are an idiot and cannot responsibily control your weapon that you LOSE the right to carry and own firearms. How about that one?

      December 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      I would make it clear in the concealed carry permit law that doing something incredibly stupid like this is grounds to revoke your permit forever.

      December 20, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jokesterer

      Don't lose your gun. Of course it will have to be 200 pages long and full of pork, exceptions, and unintended consequences.

      December 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Politico

      How about castration for idiots?

      January 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nancy

    Kudos to the boys. To the NRA; all assault rifles must not be licensed to carry by citizens. No one needs 100 bullets to defend themselves! Gun safety class a must!

    December 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bigot

      no assault rifles here...stay on topic.

      December 20, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • larryb

      hey bigot...that is the topic...idiots who own guns

      December 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • shamus

      @Larry, you are showing your ignorance, the story is about a pistol.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Noone needs 100 bullets to defend themselves? Great point, and this obvious fact that you have illuminated is the very reason why our military and SWAT team members only carry around 8-round handguns.

      December 20, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Opinion3122012

    Thanks, kids, for restoring some faith in humanity. Merry Christmas.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Chris

    Josh, please stop talking about this topic. You do not know anything.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. The Oppossum King

    Most of you should get an award for over reaction.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. DC

    "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."

    So, a gun owner, who had a license was carrying a handgun with a round chambered and lost it? And the NRA wonders why people want guns removed from these idiots. I know there are some responsible gun owners but there are too many of these idiots running around. The latest shootings prove that with one stealing them from his mother and the other stealing it from a friend.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bigot

      " I know there are some responsible gun owners but there are too many of these idiots running around. The latest shootings prove that with one stealing them from his mother and the other stealing it from a friend."

      LOL so because a few people are not smart and irresponsible we should punish everyone?

      December 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • shamus

      @Larry, does this apply to public assistance as well? Next fraud case, we get to cut you off?

      December 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Excellent logic. Also, since there are 40,000+ deaths a year from car accidents, we need to outlaw personal ownership and operation of automobiles. Also, since there are more than three times as many accidental deaths resulting from drowning than there are from firearms, we should outlaw all pools and swimming in general.

      December 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      And it's GOD busting out the ridiculous gun-nut argument "let's ban X". You're the one millionth person to use that logically horrible argument.

      December 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • God

      Notice, audience, how pathetic and emotionally-driven people like Sam actually are. In spite of the fact that this creature has heard the argument a "million" times, this creature still has no ability to actually counter it effectively. Instead, this creature of stupidity relies on obnoxious emotion and delusion in order to continue to be comfortable with its hilariously moronic ideas.

      December 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Politico

      I would think a search of the premises would be appropriate when the theater was notified there was a possible missing gun. Like, what movie, what seat, what time – should have narrowed it down pretty quick.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bspurloc

    good thing he had one in the chamber cuz a semi automatic weapon would be too slow....
    oh wait that was done because the magazine had a limit so he +1'd it.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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