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Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Gary Quackenbush


Gary Quackenbush’s father gave him a 1941 model Beretta, a gun he treasures. In fact, he still carries it from time to time, as he did when he took his wife to see “The Hobbit” last week. For him, it’s probably the one gun to rule them all. The movie, however, apparently didn’t do much for him as “he found himself in an uncomfortable seat, bored by a long film and pained by a tender tailbone.” Which explains why he was so happy to get the hell out of there after the flick’s 2 hour and 50 minute run time. Only one problem: he left the theater without his precious . . .

Seems that during all that uncomfortable wriggling and writhing, the vintage Italian gat managed to work its way out of its holster. And Gary, who’s described by as a concealed cary license holder and a registered gun dealer, was understandably upset when he finally realized he’d left it behind in the theater.

After Quackenbush discovered the gun was missing Tuesday night, he tried repeatedly to call the theater, but got no answer, he said. In a letter to the editor he shared with The Oregonian, he wrote: “By 11:10 I gave up but continued to pace the floor until dawn. I was sure they were busy cleaning up and couldn’t hear the phone.

Too bad getting in his car and driving back to the theater never occurred to him. Well, not until the next day, at least.

“Wednesday I made sure I was at the movie house before their normal opening only to find that a school group had been there earlier. I had them call the police to inform them I was there to recover my property. Much to my shock the officer had a trail of media on his heels five minutes later. How they got there from Portland baffled me.”

Yeah, having a couple of seventh-graders find a loaded firearm in a movie theater tends to garner attention, especially given the current anti-gun media feeding frenzy. And the local 5-0 were none too amused either.

Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said he’s recommending that Tillamook County prosecutors charge Quackenbush with reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said it wouldn’t affect his gun-selling license. “This is not something we can just blow off,” Wright said, noting that the gun had a bullet in the chamber and the safety was off. District Attorney Bill Porter wouldn’t comment on the case, other than to say it was under investigation.

Quackenbush is still kinda baffled by the kerfuffle he caused. “‘You have people shooting up malls, building bombs,’ he said. ‘And I’m the bad guy.'” Go figure. Anyway, we’ll make sure he gets a lovely piece of commemorative hardware to let him know that we think he’s a very big deal.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    FLAME DELETED A classic Italian pistol in an evidence locker is a crime.

  2. avatar MOG says:

    I always check to see if my wallet is still there, pretty sure I would check to see if my pistol was too.

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      It’s like a reflex. Every few minutes wallet, keys, pistol.

      I do it more often if sitting, slouching or moving in an otherwise atypical way.

      Maybe I’m just OCD about it.

      1. avatar surlycmd says:

        Me too. A good thing to be OCD about.

        1. avatar Val says:

          Oh thank goodness. I thought I was the only one.

      2. avatar SCS says:

        Same routine here. Just a little tap with my arm/elbow tells me all is fine.

    2. avatar g says:

      +1 Movie theater seats are evil like that… always gotta do the check for wallet, keys, cellphone. Surprised this guy didn’t check to see if his vintage piece was there either. Oops.

  3. avatar Sid says:

    Beyond what a peckerhead this guy is…..

    A lesson in equipment should be learned by those new to guns. Prior to our 09-10 deployment, my MPs were issued a POS holster for the M9. Handguns falling out of holsters was a daily event. Why the US Army bought and issued a bleeping holster that does not actually hold the gun is beyond me. My Sunday School class and a few members of our church bought Blackhawk Serpa holsters for every member of my platoon that did not have one. Not one issue for a year long deployment. A few os us in the platoon had purchased and tested the holsters.

    There are some beautiful handcrafted holsters available. And there are some industrially designed highly functional holsters available. But regardless of beauty or design pedigree, a holster that does not HOLD the pistol is bleeping useless. You have to work with your holster for a few days to decide. If your kidneys quit functioning because of the pounding, not a good choice. If the gun falls out while seated or running, also bad. For concealed carry, does it print?

    One of the slightly time-consuming responsibilities of being a concealed carry citizen is to ensure your holster functions appropriately.

  4. avatar .9mm says:

    I would never carry a gun that I treasured. To me, a carry gun is just a tool. If it has sentimental value or collector value why risk the wear and tear or confiscation if you ever needed to use it. There too many affordable carry options out there for me to consider carrying around grandads war piece.

    1. avatar Hal says:

      Not to mention that the Beretta M34 is single action semiauto, and he apparently had a round in the chamber with the safety off. Not exactly the best choice for concealed carry, given all the modern alternatives.

      1. avatar Nathan says:

        seriously, I hope he had the hammer down at least. Not locked or co cked isn’t quite as effective as the proper way, but it sure beats the alternative of co cked and not locked.

  5. avatar James says:

    Wow! Just wow….wonder if would have felt like a bad guy had one of those kids started playing cops and robbers with classmates. Thank God no one was hurt.

    1. avatar Mike in NC says:

      Are kids in this era of extreme political correctness even allowed to play “cops and robbers” anymore?

      1. avatar James says:

        Good point…

  6. avatar RKBA says:

    Did I totally miss the part where the gun was recovered????

    Or is it still MIA??

    1. avatar C says:

      “on a school field trip Wednesday to the Coliseum Theatre — found the loaded gun. It fell from the seat when one of the students pushed the seat down. The boys stayed back and called for a teacher”

      but i had to go to the source article to find it. This version is not clear on it.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        So this whole incident could have been avoided if the owner just listened to his wife and left the seat down.

    2. “Yeah, having a couple of seventh-graders find a loaded firearm in a movie theater tends to garner attention”

  7. avatar Accur81 says:

    I never officially took a CCW class – but I’m confident that losing track of a loaded gun in a public place is irresponsible. That definitely constitutes an emergency. This man needed to immediately drop his “to do” list and locate that firearm. I’m very glad that this loaded firearm did not wind up causing any more of an in incident than it did.

  8. avatar Gregolas says:

    DeSantis fannypacks solve so many problems,of which this is one.
    I have to confess to losing my pepperspray once at a Gallagher concert,though.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Fannypacks?! Seriously?!

      1. avatar Gregolas says:

        Oh no! Accur81 is my 18-yr old daughter!

        Yes, I’m a geek.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    You couldn’t blame the guy for not picking up his pistol if it fell onto the floor of the movie theater. The floor of the mens’ toilet at the Eighth Avenue bus station is cleaner than the floor of the average movie theater. You don’t pick anything off that floor without latex gloves and a tetanus shot — and that goes double for your shoes.

  10. avatar Kevin says:

    I’m guessing his pistol didn’t fall out, and that he took it out and set it down (since it was uncomfortable), and forgot to pick it up when he left.

  11. avatar MotoJB says:


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