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Police did not identify the man who lost the gun but told CNN his concealed-carry permit has been revoked and information about the case was being forwarded to the district attorney.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

    So true @ Greek American! They must not clean that place very well if they didnt discover the gun before the class arrived, what the next day? Two days?

    December 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      It seems like the gun was trapped in the seat from reading the article. I wouldn't expect a theater to examine EVERY seat, or honestly any of the seats on a daily basis unless there is a maintenance need. The only person at fault here is the butterfingers who lost a fully loaded GUN, a GUN! I personally feel he needs to have his CCP revoked for life. There has to be ZERO tolerance for individuals who are irresponsible with the firearms they legally own.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Slappy_McGiggles

    It's sad when children show more intelligence and responsibility that adults.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Dave Frasen

    Note how CNN publishes THIS story of a CCW holder acting irresponsibly.


    They dont publish the fact that the killer in the OR mall the other day only committed suicide once he saw the CCW guy with the gun.

    Typical left-wing bias in reporting stories supporting their political beliefs and not reporting stories that contradict their political beliefs.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      BS. Find me any account other than CCW holder's that says this. Any witness. Anybody.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve nick meli at kgw .com channel 8 portland news. A handgun was used to defend at the mall and appears to have resulted in the shooter killing himself. Most self defense situations only require brandishing to initiate the change in the aggressor from predator to prey thus defusing the situation.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOH

      Sharon I believe you are the idiot. Sure his cynicism is uncalled for but someone did prevent a potential massacre at a mall. The "supposed-to-be" gunman took his own life when he was confronted by another person who had a concealed handgun. I guess you didn't bother reading any of these news articles or research it yourself because you're too busy advocating for banning of all weapons. There are dozens of cases in the past decade where a potential massacre was prevented by a legal gun owner who had concealed the weapon for self-defense.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Schmoe

      Thanks for such an insightful post Sharon. You have such a helpful point of view and supported it with logical and concise facts. With people like yourself contributing to this very complex issue, it's a wonder why we can't come to some sort of compromise that's beneficial to everyone involved. You must be the pride of your family. Bravo!!

      December 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  4. julie

    why was this gun in the theather in the first place i dont care if he had a permit he should not had it in such a pubulic place. and on top of it all what is the need of a simi hand gun and then he did not report it missing it just do not sound right and u feel that threaten u should just stay home

    December 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      Yes Julie, why oh why was there a gun in a theater. I'll tell you next time I go to a theater after recent events that I will have my weapon with me. You wouldn't be asking this question if that gun ended up saving your life.

      Yes this guy was very irresponsible, but I am glad some people are carrying in theaters.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      So Ignorant. DId you even read the news as to what happened in colorado?

      December 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Um The whole point of a CCW permit is to carry in public, so what the hell are you talking about.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Schmoe

      Are a bunch of people crawling out from under their rocks because they think the world is ending tomorrow? Theater...gun...Colorado...Batman!!! This is completely surreal...

      December 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sandra

    "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,"

    Bravo for the parents who provided their kids with training.

    December 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • lol

      Yup. I think everyone (even those who never intend to own a gun) should know some basic rules about guns and even know how to handle and shoot one properly because you never know. I'm not sure what the numbers are but I'm sure a lot of accidental shootings happen every year simply because of gun ignorance.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SnapinTurtle

    And this is why even why law abiding citizens with guns can be a danger. Most people I know in my vicinity who have been wounded by guns or sufferened propery damage were victims of accidents and negligence not intentional violence. That is why it is so illogical to support the theory that we should arm teachers and everyone else with weapons. People do dumb things and accidents happen.

    In another note, why did the theatre not report this themselves? Did they even look for it? If I were a business owner and a customer approached me about a missing handgun that could be on my premises I would cover every inch my property and contact the police. Even if they were indifferent to public safety one would think they would they would resort to CYA.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MrApplesauce

    I heard that everyone who is licensed to carry guns was 100% responsible and accidents never happened.


    I can't wait for all these licensed responsible teachers to carry their guns in classrooms daily, weekly, monthly, yearly without any accidents and careless loss of their gun.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • EvenSteven

      Goodness. I spent the last year as a moderate Democrat telling my right wing friends that they need not fear Democrats taking their guns away. Turns out I was incorrect. Obama was the right choice for many reasons but.... We need to fight the folks with knee jerk reactions. And realize that the far left is as crazy as the far right.

      Leave my rights alone. Give yours up by simply not participating. You have the right to be a potential victim. I have the right to protect myself and my family. Lets just leave it at that shall we?

      December 22, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Michael Brian Welch

    Synchronicity much? Our nation's nerves are raw around issues of gun ownership and Mr. Brilliance, with a concealed carry permit, loses his loaded pistol in a movie theater. He's VERY lucky that these boys took their gun safety training more seriously that he did.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. wilson

    The gun was loaded and had a round in the chamber?! What kind of paranoid idiot would do that in a theatre? Oh.. I know, a gun loving nut job... that's who. Lucky it didn't go off when it fell to the floor and killed yet another innocent person.

    I long for the days when the wild west frontier of the U.S. is finally settled and gun ownership by idiots are a thing of the past. NRA, your days are numbered!

    December 20, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Uhh, you do realize that guns don't "just go off" when they fall to the floor, right? That only happens in movies. You have to actually pull the trigger to fire the gun...

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

      What I can't figure out is why this boob didn't go back and search the area himself. It seems that he asked if the theater staff found a gun and when they said no, he just says OK. If that had happened to me I would have searched 50 seats around that area. I put in a more dedicated search to find my sneakers than that guy put in looking for a loaded handgun.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. larryb

    perfect example of "responsible" gun ownership with permit and all...yeah...we need more of these guys

    December 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. wilson

    A few years? How about forever? He's proven by his actions that he's a paranoid idiot. A time out is not going to change any of that.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • armedlutheran

      The only thing he's proven is that he is careless. But please, drop the insults. Yes, revoke the license. I don't know how you would not know you were no longer carrying your weapon.

      December 21, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • brad

      Idiot, yes I give you that but paranoid? How do you figure. Because he was exercising his right to bear arms. Why dont we suspend the 1A for a while and see how that goes. Even better, lets suspend the 4A and just open our doors.

      January 2, 2013 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Dustin

    ...and this is where accountability needs to come into play. He shouldn't be allowed a concealed weapons license for a while.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • sowgoodseeds

      agreed. gun owners have to be held responsible when they fail to uphold their permit requirements.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. lol

    I'll be surprised if this clown is allowed to keep his license to carry. You pretty much have to have a spotless record and even then the authorities have every right to not give it to you if you don't pass the sniff test. I would call this "failing" the sniff test.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sam

    Cars kill 33000 people in this country each year. They must be taken off the roads.

    oh, let us not talk about the irresponsible drunken drivers who drive the cars but since it is the car that kills, let us ban those 4 wheel things.

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

      The major difference between guns and cars? The original intent of guns is to kill people. When a gun kills someone, it's doing what it was designed to do. The original intent of cars is to get people from point A to point B quickly. Accidents are an unfortunate by-product of this. With so many untimely deaths from motor vehicle accidents, why should we tolerate more untimely deaths from gun owners?

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

      Your analogy makes so much sense that I'll give you a reply that makes an equal amount of sense. Cars are not driven into schoolrooms and used to mow down 20 six year olds.

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

      @Sam. Oh, Sam-please STOP with ridiculously inane comparisons contrived by Gun-twits. The "Car" comparison ("Car-gument" *TM and copyright!) has become a major CLICHE. Question: What is the PRIMARY purpose of a car? For that matter, what is the PRIMARY purpose of a pen or a shower or an aardvark? Yes, people can be hurt and killed by cars, pens, showers and/or an aardvark might suffocate you by sitting on your face. But please tell me what you THINK is the PRIMARY purpose of a gun? (waits patienly for 1.3 seconds) Ding-ding! That's right, Sam-the purpose of a a gun is to Kill! Therefore it might stand to reason that we should treat them with a little more care, maybe even some sort of realistic and effective regulation, than say, that Aardvark that is trying to kill you with it's dirty bum. -Seriously, It would be nice to hear gun enthusiasts start coming up with some sort of solutions or compromise, other than to keep pounding out the same rhetoric.

      December 20, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • armedlutheran

      @biff mcguzzle If someone did, would you be in favor of banning them, then? Guns are tools. Millions use them every day for sport, some for hunting, some for self or home defense. Some abuse them. Adam Lanza used a rifle. You are more likely to be murdered by hands and feet than by rifles.

      December 21, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. OMEN

    The BLACK hip hop (gangsta rap ) and antebellum nation are the devil's seed which he had sown among the black population in both AMERICA and in AFRICA and will ended up tormenting the lost souls of those who do not have the seal of the living GOD in their forehead REVELATION 9 IN THE HOLY BIBLE. It was the rise of the hip hop nation which glorified black on black violence as well as the widespread use of racial profiling in which many black americans were arrested is what has contribute to the black holocaust.

    December 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason


      December 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
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