Gun Falls Out Onto Ground at Tampa Movie Theater

Earlier this month Tampa police responded to a call from an AMC movie theater when a patron's firearm accidentally dropped to the floor. (News story below)

To share my own incriminating story, I recall many years ago shortly after receiving my concealed carry permit but shortly before my first holster came in the mail I decided to carry my concealed handgun in my belt. While attending a college class at Utah Valley University I stood up to turn in my test and my gun slipped down the inside of my pants into one of the legs. I promptly sat back down and spent the next 20 minutes trying to get the gun out the bottom of the pant and into my backpack without anyone seeing the gun or thinking I was cheating on my test. I was luckily able to learn a very valuable lesson without the potential crisis that it could have caused.

So the lesson for us all to remember today is that we have an obligation to safety for ourselves and for others to secure our firearms well. Invest in a quality holster with strong retention and use it properly. Don't handle, fiddle with, or remove the firearm unless absolutely necessary. Remember the off duty officer who shot himself in an elevator a little while back? (Video Here). Don't be that guy/gal!

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Police Department officers on Sunday night responded to a call about someone who had a gun at a local movie theater.

At about 8:45 p.m., police received a 911 call from a patron at the AMC Westshore 14 movie theater, which is located at the WestShore Plaza shopping center.

The movie patron said that there was a person inside one of the theaters who was “handling a firearm,” according to TPD.

Police responded to the scene and determined that a person who had a valid concealed firearms carry permit was seated in the theater and had accidentally dropped his firearm to the floor and retrieved and re-holstered it.

Officers determined that the firearm fell out of the holster, it was not removed from the holster and there were no criminal violations.

The movie patron was was released at the scene, according to police. There was no evacuation of the theater or interruption of the movie. –WFLA 9/7/15

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. PeaceSouljer on September 18, 2015 at 1:06 am

    My nominee for the 2015 Dumass Award

    • David on September 26, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      O yes , this wouldn’t never happen to you. YOU must be Mr perfect.

  2. Old Salt Doc on September 18, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    If this hasn’t happened to you yet, as a concealed or open carrier IT WILL. Use the best, most secure holster you can afford, ONLY unholster to put the firearm in use or secure it at home or clean it. ALWAYS check your firearm’s security in its holster DISCRETELY as you exit your vehicle! Check it occasionally (again discretely) with elbow pressure as you go about your activity…ESPECIALLY standing and sitting!
    On a personal note, I am opposed to open carry for other than police (on duty) and military (also on duty) because you mark yourself as a primary target for the bad guys and will have MUCH less time to evaluate, maneuver and respond to a shooting situation since you WILL be the first target!

    • Ron on September 26, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Well said.

  3. Vern Rosa on September 21, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Old Salt Doc… “if this hasn’t happened to you yet, as a concealed or open carrier IT WILL”.

    I have been carrying firearms openly and concealed since 1971. I have never dropped a weapon or had it fall from my holster. If I ever become so inept to have a pistol fall from my holster, I will stop carrying firearms.

  4. Ralph Nettles on September 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    I have several hand guns, all semiautomatics, no pistols. Each gun has it’s own holster and I always check the holster’s locking system each time I put it’s gun in it. If I don’t hear the lock click, I take off the holster and refit it to the weapon. Even though I live in a state that allows open carry, I would rather carry concealed rather then advertise that I am armed. The lock doesn’t slow the drawing of the weapon, but it keeps it where it belongs until I feel I need to bring it out.

  5. Rick on September 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    My first CCW was carried in a belly band. One day while bending over at work the belly band flipped over and my small 9mm fell on the ground. Luckily only a good friend saw it. I bought a high quality iwb holster that night and have never had that problem since. Been carrying for over 15 years now. Some of you are a little high & mighty about it, but mistakes happen to even the most seasoned professionals. I’ve seen a LEO freeze and it cost him his life. And I’ve seen video of instructors shooting themselves in the leg. FYI, belly bands & round bellys are a bad combo. 😉

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