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Police did not identify the man who lost the gun but told CNN his concealed-carry permit has been revoked and information about the case was being forwarded to the district attorney.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

    When guns are so pervasive in our society that they're popping up on movie theater floors it's time for a gut check.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Jim

    The kids did the correct thing. If they would of picked up the gun a police officer might of shot them thinking they were bad news.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. bill cheeseman

    i would of took it home nice ground score.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. citizenUSA

    Yes, he's a bonehead for losing it but why do you consider a person an idiot just carrying one? In light of things, I carry mine anywhere I can, especially to movie theaters.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Surrender Dorothy

    Did anybody find my gun in the lost and found? Wait, did you look under that jacket? It could be in that bookbag...

    December 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Gene

    If the man told the theatre staff he'd lost a gun, did the they even SEARCH the theatre he'd been sitting in? He could have told them where he sat and everything. Any decent theatre employee knows that something can fall out and land in the seat, and you have to flip DOWN the seat to be sure there's nothing there.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jenna

      So your immediate reaction is to blame the theater? How about you blame the idiot gun owner?

      December 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mnm

      Did you read the story? Gun was lost by owner Tuesday night. Boys find it Wednesday morning during field trip. Owner of gun first comes to theater Wednesday night! The theater folks never had the opportunity to conduct a search prior to the boy's field trip becaseu the clueless owenr of the gun only came back a day later.

      December 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      We are all less safe with the likes of a carrier who doesn't carry safely. All gun owners, and carriers will be penalized by this. And rightly so. The rights he has are not treasured and maintained but lost on the floor of a theater.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Anne

      Gene– did you actually READ the story? The kids found the gun Wednesday MORNING. The man came to the theater Wednesday NIGHT saying he had lost his gun. So why would an employee go searching for something that was already found??

      December 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. hrpufnstuf

    Anybody notice how guns are never "loaded" on CNN and other liberal websites? They're always "FULLY LOADED," as if maybe some people would start loading their gun, get tired, and and quit half way. Might as make it a single word, fullyloaded. I guess that makes it scarier, or something.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jade

      The boys found the gun Wednesday morning. The man came to the theater asking about the gun Wednesday night.

      December 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Geoz

      Fox News. Dec. 12. used the phrase "fully loaded" with regard to the Oregon shooter.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • King

      Guess you are a closed-minded fool who likes to blurt the first thing that comes to their little pea-sized brain. Ever think that a gun could NOT be fully loaded.....such as a weapon found after it has been discarded after use in a crime? So yeah, a gun can be partially loaded, but not fully loaded. In this case, the gun was FULLY loaded, which included a round already chambered for use.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Texas Anne

      Just what is your point?

      December 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • MattBMO

      Well, it is possible to have a gun which is partially loaded. If you fully load your gun, that is, put in it all the bullets that it is capable of carrying, and then you fire some of the bullets – your gun is then partially loaded. It is only fully loaded if all the bullets are in it. Think about it...

      December 20, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • chf

      put on yer tinfoil hat!

      December 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brian

    Here is another reason open carry isn't such a good idea, as from time to time someone will lose the firearm or even be pick pocketed.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Bill R

    Way to go boys! We are so proud of you!

    December 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Scott

    What blows my mind about CNN is how much negative crap they put out there against guns! You never hear about good things where a woman was able to hold off attacker with her gun??? Why???

    December 20, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • jenna

      Because normally the harasser has the gun.

      December 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • guns kill people

      Because CNN reports news stories that actually happen, not figments of gun lovers' imaginations...

      December 20, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Responsible

      @guns kill people, obviously you are not a gun owner. There are many cases where a gun has prevented crime and/or death because of a responsible gun owner confronting a threat. This is the true reason we carry. It's just that those stories aren't as glamorous and sensationalized and usually end up as a small paragraph on page 9.

      December 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • guns kill people

      and you're only "responsible" until you're not. it takes one accidental misfire of your beloved weapon and someone is dead.

      December 21, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • armedlutheran

      @guns kill people Between 1.5 and 2-million times a year a law-abiding citizen uses a firearm to stop a crime and in many cases, save lives. Why does the media ignore that? It's simple. They live in their ivory towers and don't know anything about guns or people who own and use them responsibly. That's why you hear stupidity like "assault weapon", or "assault rifle", or "wild west", or "machine gun".

      December 21, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. Protect the Children

    Thank goodness for the Boy Scout and the hunter. None of those safety rules are allowed in school so the average school kid would probably have picked up the gun and who knows what would have happened.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Don

    This exact same thing happened in my home town. The chief of police left his gun, loaded, on the back of a toilet. Two children found it later and turned it in to the police. They ran the serial number and found out it was police issue, to the chief of police. The police kept it quiet for a week or two, but the word got out. Police chief got to keep his job.

    December 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Repeal the Second Amendment Now

    Hire that man as a schoolteacher! What could possibly go wrong?

    December 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. jon

    I think the gun owner was going to do a copycat shooting in the theater or he was afraid someone was going to come in shooting up the place. The gun owner needs to be checked out and make sure they're not a psycho.

    December 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Responsible

      Jon, what a dumb statement. You couldn't possibly think that maybe he carried it for personal protection. Give me one example of concealed carry license holder who "shot up the place" as you put it.

      December 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Seth

    If these were the children of some liberal they'd probably have no experience with guns and would have waved it around like they were in some call fo duty game... sad but true

    December 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Texas Anne

      Could your comment possibly be any more ludicrous? I don't think so.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4allpersonalliberties

      I am fairly liberal usally vote democrat, for gay marrige,for marijuana legalization(don't even smoke it),and I have severalpistols,hunting rifles,and shotguns. I learned to shoot from my dad when I was 9, so your "blanket statement" would be wrong as they usally are.

      December 20, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
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