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By Brandon via

A Traverse City, Michigan man walked into Pangea’s Pizza Pub on May 30th with his handgun, and left without it. The man, 40-year-old Brandon Reed Martin, used the bathroom in the pizza shop and for some reason, set his firearm on the bathroom sink. And left it there. Loaded . . .

He walked out, left the pizza place and seemingly went about his day. He must have been doing two things in succession: He was wearing a ridiculously comfortable holster that allows him to not feel his firearm at all, and he decided to take the day off from paying attention.

Employees found the firearm on the sink and called police. They came to confiscate it, and proceeded to find the owner.

Martin has a valid concealed carry permit in the state of Michigan, and was hit with a misdemeanor charge of reckless use of a firearm.

Some will say, “People make mistakes, it happens. Hopefully he learned his lesson.” To that, I respectfully point out that the man left a loaded firearm in a public bathroom, of which anyone could have come across. As gun owners, we do not have any margin of error to play with. One mistake is one too many, in my eyes.

Do you think he should be charged with anything? Do you feel the current charge isn’t enough? How accountable should a person be for doing something like this? Should his permit be taken away? Chime in below and share your thoughts.

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  1. Was anyone hurt? If not, then who cares? I have never liked the idea of putting people away or penalizing them for something that might have happened. No victim? No harm to anyone? Then who cares? Not me

    • I respectfully disagree strongly. It seems silly to have to point to the responsibility of possessing deadly force in public. And, as unfair as it is, the situation is such that if one gun owner F’s up we are all held to account.

      • So when a cop makes even the smallest of mistakes, like a negligent discharge or unlawful detainment or a brutal but unnecessary arrest, he should be removed from the police force. After all, giving someone the use of deadly force with the power of the state behind them is irresponsible if they screwed up. Right?

        • “So when a cop makes even the smallest of mistakes, like a negligent discharge or unlawful detainment or a brutal but unnecessary arrest..”

          You think that a BRUTAL, but UNNECESSARY arrest……is a small mistake?

      • I agree, somebony could have been killed!

        Oh, wait a minute, someone could be killed if you ever left your car running with the Door unlocked while you ran inside for some coffee, or if you could have killed someone if you ran that red light because you misjudged the yellow, you could kill someone if you shift lanes without first looking over your shoulder, you could run over a child backing up if you didn’t look back over your shoulder, a child could drown because you left the gate to your pool unlocked and so on.

        What could kill someone because of someone’s negligence is legion, in a law abiding society you are only charged if you actually injure or kill someone due to that negligence.

        Negligence with guns should be no different.

    • I support Adam’s sentiment and have advocated the same idea in previous articles.

      Having said that, I am looking at this from another angle now. Is it okay if I go to a public park and create a hidden, dangerous pitfall … as long as no one falls into it before park staff fills it in? My answer is NO. Is it okay to leave a car idling in drive on a public street and walk away as the car drives itself away … as long as it doesn’t harm anyone before stopping itself on an incline? Again, my answer is NO.

      Neither is it okay to leave a loaded handgun on a bathroom counter in a public bathroom … even if no one harmed themselves with it. My answer is to hit the owner with a nominal fine — something like 1% of their annual income.

      • No it is not OK/

        It is also not OK for “police, who confiscated the weapon.”

        “Shall not be infringed” ring a bell? The guy did not intentionally or accidently shoot/kill anyone. Nor was ANYONE injured in any manner. A few Michigan libtards may have wet themselves.

        • I don’t have a problem with Cops picking up the gun if the dipshit left it in a public restroom. How is that infringing on the 2nd Amendment.

        • Leaving your gun in a public bathroom is neither keeping nor bearing it. The actions taken were appropriate.

        • Well, he wasn’t smart to keep it holstered in the first place. Worse, he was dumb enough to leave it in a public place where anyone, including criminals and minors could find and misuse it. Maybe he’s not capable of having it, regardless of whatever rubber-stamp permits he may have. Don’t blame the cops for his negligence and stupidity. Having a firearm is a huge responsibility. Carrying it around makes it an even bigger one. Don’t cry about that clown’s “rights.” How about his RESPONSIBILITY and the rights of others to not get their heads blown off as a result of his carelessness? They should keep it. Maybe help him remember the right thing when he inevitably buys another one. And an added consequence: if something like that happens and someone is shot and/or killed as a result, they should be legally liable for it.

    • Following Adam’s logic, if you drive drunk but manage to make it home in one piece, no harm, no crime. Right?

      Bull. If you’re going to carry, you have the responsibility of keeping the gun secured. The misdemeanor charge was appropriate.

      • This… If you drive drunk, you get charged with DUI. Drive drunk and kill someone, its likely homicide. The outcome does matter, but if there is no negative outcome it doesn’t absolve you from the penalty for breaking the law.

    • That is gross negligence leaving it there. A kid could have been the next person in there or a gang banger. That said, this happens by police and TSA etc leaving guns in bathrooms.

    • He should get at least 100 hours of community service and be required to take a four hour CCW renewal class again. This was a potentially deadly situation that had a lucky outcome.

  2. He was charged and will lose his carry license. What else should happen? Firing squad? Cops do this all the time and their only punishment is sent for more “firearms training classes.” Cops are always leaving guns lay around. Back in the day working in the car rental industry we would hold the guns for the cops who would leave them under the seats of the rental cars they used in various stings. It was always a big shrug and thanks for keeping that for me. Nobody got hurt in this situation and mistakes do happen.

    • In that the mere imposition of a permission slip in order to exercise a natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right is in itself a violation of the Second Amendment “…shall not be infringed.” no such punishment of withdrawing the permission slip seems warranted.

      He made a stupid mistake. Not only that, it was a potentially serious and/or deadly mistake, like parking your car at the top of a hill without setting the transmission or brake or turning the wheels to the curb. Might be expensive and embarrassing, but it might also get people killed.

      Nevertheless, his 2A rights exist and continue, even if he is monumentally stupid and careless, and no government agency has or should have the right to rescind or revoke them. (Unless they throw his ass in jail, which seem extreme.)

      Proper legal punishment for this sort of situation – he NEVER sees that pistol again. Confiscated, sold, auctioned, melted for MDA bracelets, whatever they want, but cheap or Wilson Combat 1911 expensive, he never gets it back. Same would happen if some gang-banger found it first, right?

      When I was (much) younger I was careless a few times, although not this sort of careless, and had two different .357 revolvers stolen from my car on different occasions. (Note to self – NEVER off-body carry.) Those were expensive lessons and I learned them thoroughly. Anyone who has invested in an EDC and through negligence has that $400 or $500 or more dollars just disappear will learn a lot more than a slap on the wrist for a misdemeanor violation.

    • Washington D.C., cops left their guns in a public bathroom. But it’s all cool, they’re cops!

  3. If it was football, he’d be forced to carry the thing around openly until next game. PROTECT THIS HOUSE.

    ps – if that’s supposed to be a pizza place restroom, ya, that pic is faked.

  4. I had to hit up the old urban dictionary to look up Mohaska. They don’t use that one ’round these parts.

    Dude’s going to lose his carry license. I think that takes care of that. Hard way to learn a lesson.

    • +1 – I think, if everyone could keep it quiet, he would probably be one of the safer carriers out there, for at least a bit. Complacency is a beast that hunts us all. We had a story a while back about some 5-O that lost a sniper rifle, and a unit? Obama policies have armed and armored-up countless of our enemies in Iraq because our service men were told to beat feet to the egress, and not given a U.S. ride home. No wait, that was intentional.

    • Is a misdemeanor charge enough to lose your permit? I thought it had to be a felony charge.

  5. First, guy is an idiot. That said…

    I have a problem with this: “… and was hit with a misdemeanor charge of reckless use of a firearm.”

    Reckless WITH a firearm, but leaving it somewhere is not USE of a firearm.

    It was found, the police called, no one was hurt, now he has to do the walk-of-shame to the police department to retrieve it. That should be the end of it.

    IF the situation had gone differently, if someone got hurt, then we could have all kinds of other discussions. But none of that happened so why go there.

  6. Not defending the guy, it was extremely dumb and irresponsible. Yes, lots of things COULD have happened, we, nor the cops, should play the what if game. If I was a judge, I’d sentence the guy to cleaning that bathroom for those employees, free of charge, and have those employees that would normally have to do it, take that time off paid.

    Taking away the guys permit to carry because he made a dumb decision is a bit much. If he had to clean toilets in that bathroom, I’d bet it would be etched into his mind to at least pay attention to what he’s doing.

  7. he did not threaten anyone or accidentally fire his gun. he did not break any of the four safety rules. he should have a punishment though it should be more annoying than severe to remind him not to leave his gun lying about. like writing, i will not forget my gun in the bathroom 1000 times on a chalkboard every weekend for a month or something before getting his license back. reckless use of a firearm is very vague, which is why they charged him with it. permanently removing an otherwise lawful individual from carrying concealed (barring any other evidence).

    if a cook leaves a knife in the bathroom, is he/she punished? if a motorist leave their car along the freeway with the keys in it and still running, is he/she punished?

    • The “four rules of gun safety” are the BASICS OF GUN HANDLING, not the whole deal of gun safety. They intentionally don’t say anything about storage, carry and lots of other things. People need to follow the four rules, but they need to look beyond them also.

  8. Let me get this straight — the same people who want Brandon Martin hung out to dry also want convicted felons to immediately get their gun rights back. Really? I mean, really?

    Somebody’s been hitting the bong again.

    • Put the released felon on probation. No guns until they are off. Give Martin a ticket – if the law allows. He should have the same treatment as off duty / on duty cops – a fine / small suspension in pay.

      • Agreed, A81, with these codicils (don’t you love it when I talk Lawyerese?): No felons or misdemeanants get their gun rights back until they make full restitution to their victims, if there were any. Violent felons can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned. And Martin pleads out to a chickensh1t violation and gets no more than a fine and a short suspension of his license, during which time he retakes his training course.

    • Welcome to TTAG, where crack dealers should have guns because their job is dangerous, and disagreeing makes you a commie.

      • Well said! It is hilarious to watch the resident crazies around here at work in the comment section. Cheap entertainment.

  9. Must be nice to live someplace where gun ownership is so free that you can forget a gun like a set of keys or a sweater in a public bathroom.

    • Must be nice to live someplace where you can forget anything in a public bathroom and not have it stolen in four seconds.

  10. Given the government lawlessness and not holding their own employees accountable for things like, oh email security, using government systems for government business, aiding and abetting the violation of immigration law on a massive scale, providing firearms to Mexican drug gangs, use of a government agency to interfere with political organization’s ability to function, use of a government agency to identify and intimidate donors to political organizations opposing the administration….

    I really don’t see the need to penalize the individual any further— and the government is rapidly losing it’s moral authority to charge anyone with anything. Only to administer compliance through fear of government force.

  11. So this guy works for the Secret Service, right?
    I need to start cruising the restrooms for guns.

  12. Pay a $100 fine, maybe get a retrain certificate. Keep the license. Sitting through the retrain class is punishment enough.

    Next question?

  13. Treating your handgun like an uncomfortable set of car keys you just toss on the sink while attending to business is a sign of person who has become careless to the point of reckless endangerment and neglect. I think the guy deserves a stiff fine to shock him back into total situational awareness again.

  14. If that was actually his gun in the photo, I would say he should be charged with using a crayon to decorate his Glock. That’s a sure sign of someone who is more interested in the “cool factor” than the responsibility of carrying a firearm.

  15. He deserves the misdemeanor, sadly.
    If I found the gun, I’d unload it and pawn it. When it get’s reported missing the pawn shop will give it to him for their cost. He gets the gun back, no charges filed, and I get a finders fee. Life is good.

    • Except that keeping the gun instead of turning it in is considered theft. Therefore, trying to sell it to a pawn shop is the same as selling a stolen gun. Felony much?

  16. Do you think he should be charged with anything? Do you feel

    Like I’m gonna jinx myself answering any of that mess.

  17. I wish I could find one like that. Sorry-no excuse. A child or someone as stupid as him could have found it. And the same goes for cops. TTAG had a question the other day-too stupid to have a gun. Like the idiots who leave their kid to die in a carseat…

  18. He should be treated exactly how a cop would be treated who made such a mistake. By the letter of the law.

  19. If your gun is too big to go in your pants pocket while you “sit”, then you need a smaller gun, or bigger pockets. I would never leave my piece on the sink.

    Give him a hundred dollar fine, just so he’ll think about it next time.

  20. See? On-body carry is irresponsible and unsafe! I’ve said it before, and I don’t care if it pisses you guys off, but in-orifice carry is the only acceptable carry method. Lots of people will say it’s too uncomfortable, or it doesn’t suit their style of orifice. But if you’re serious about carrying a gun, the only correct and responsible way is to cram it into one of the many holes in the human body.

  21. In my opinion, if you are carrying you need to maintain a higher than normal state of situational awareness of not only what’s happening around you but also of what you are doing too.

    Getting complacent and careless with guns give the antis more cause to invoke further restrictions.

  22. The government has no moral authority to charge him with anything, given the way they treat their own who do the same.

    Also, this is a failing of society. Leaving a gun in the bathroom wouldn’t be dangerous at all if people as a whole weren’t willfully ignorant and knee jerk frightened at the sight of guns. If they had the slightest clue about what they were doing with guns, like free citizens, they wouldn’t feel the need to call their government nannies to come pick up a dangerous gun as if it were a pipe bomb. And don’t give me the “a kid could have found it” angle. Any kid old enough to go into the bathroom without a parent is old enough to know how to responsibly unload and check a gun.

    If the guy left a pocket knife on the sink, would there be an issue?

    Also, here’s a question…how did they find the owner? After all, there’s no gun registry…right?

    • Doesn’t Michigan keep a record of handgun purchases? I thought they had some kind of dumb “permit to purchase” system for handguns.

  23. Where is the victim?

    Oh, the idiot gun owner is. All you who say he just be charged suck. You’re worse than the Obungo voters.

    • Just leaving it there is a SERIOUS issue. It’s not one of those “whoospsie!” moments. If a criminal finds it, that’s a free gun to rob as many stores or commit as many shootings with as he wants to – after all, it was not bought in his name and can’t ever be tracked to him.

  24. I would impose a moderate fine and suspend his carry permit for a year with him getting it back once he has been through training again. He’ll think about what he did for the entire year.

  25. There are two sides to every story. We have heard only one side. What was the man’s response when con- fronted by the police? There must have been a good reason for leaving a gun in a public bathroom.

  26. It wasn’t uncommon for someone to leave their rifle or sidearm in the DFAC while downrange. I can think of at least three guys from my platoon alone who made it halfway back to the motorpool without theirs. It was a big enough problem in the unit that Top instituted mandatory buddy-checks when leaving the chowhall. And not just for weapons; nogs, kevlars, icoms, binos, and other sensitive items had a habit of being found by our cooks. or NCOs in other common areas.
    I’m not surprised when people or cops forget their sidearm in a bathroom stall, but take it as a reminder to always double-check.

  27. Lucky for him know one has killed with his firearm. I think he should do 200 hours of community service cleaning gun ranges and be required to tell his story to any and all gun instruction, CCW, and introduction to firearms classes in a 50 radius from his home and or 50 radius from where he left the firearm.
    If a person is killed or injured with his handgun then he goes to jail as far as I’m concerned.

    • I know there is going to be a love-fest over my comment but I have to bring my opinion out of the closet. There should be an IQ test for prospective gun owners, to weed out the stupid ones. The CCW courses are not weeding them out, as evidenced by the negligent discharge at the Waldorf Astoria last weekend. The proliferation of guns shown on TV shows and in movies is driving a massive herd of low IQ individuals to become gun owners. I also believe an IQ test should be required before issuing a motor vehicle license.

  28. If I found it I would have immediately modified the trigger using a 12 pound after-market connector, you know, to make it safe for the police to handle. Just doing my civic duty.

  29. I think the charge is fine. Also give him a fine. And maybe some mandatory training. But he shouldn’t need his permit revoked. Or his gun or rights taken.

    He needs a good slap on the wrist to wake him up, but shouldn’t that e sufficient?

  30. Didn’t read the article. Only clicked this far down to beg for less HuffPo style nonsense headlines please. Can we not just say “Dude leaves gun in bathroom”? Maybe I’m just kinda slow but I literaly had to read the headline twice to figure out wth it was saying.

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