It's illustrated well in this case, from my home state, where we have no shortage of rain or fools. Yesterday, out in Tillamook County (home of the cheese and the sea breeze), someone left a loaded pistol in a movie theater. From an AP report:
Police say a pupil on an end-of-the-year field trip Wednesday to see "The Hobbit" at a Tillamook movie theater found a loaded handgun on the floor beneath a seat.Now, it turns out that this absent-minded pistolero was a holder of a concealed weapons permit. Here's the report from the Tillamook Headlight Herald [name of gun owner omitted]:
Police Chief Terry Wright says it was a small, semi-automatic weapon with a round in the chamber and the safety off.
Had the student picked up the weapon and squeezed the trigger, Wright said, "it could have been catastrophic."
Instead, the student notified adults. Officers cleared the theater and searched it.
Tillamook Police contacted the man and learned he realized the previous night that he lost his gun at the theater. [Gun owner] said he tried calling the theater with no response last night and again today. The man said after being unable to contact the theater staff by phone, he opted to drive to the theater in the hopes they had placed his gun in with other lost and found items. [Gun owner] told police he never thought to call law enforcement to report the gun lost.According to a comment (with a link) on the THH website, this gun owner is not only a concealed weapons permit holder, but also a federally licensed firearms dealer.
Obviously it is too easy to get a concealed weapons permit when someone is so stupid they leave a loaded pistol lying about in a theater -- and don't immediately contact police. How is this any different then driving drunk down the highway?
But it's not even a crime, and I suppose with some weepy story the gun owner will be able to keep his concealed handgun permit (that's the Sheriff's call, but there's a right to appeal to the courts), and no doubt his federal firearms dealer's license.
The right to keep and bear arms, whatever its extent, does not give anyone the right to bear arms if in so doing they endanger the public, particularly children.