Editorial: Gun ownership failure

Published June 21, 2013

Had it not been for a father and his 9-year-old son discovering a loaded handgun in a restroom at the Muvico Centro Ybor 20 theater in Tampa, a troubling tale of irresponsible gun ownership could have turned out much worse. Just as concerning is that the gun belonged to a veteran Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office detective, who should have known better than to leave his personal weapon behind.

Wesley Nolan accompanied his 9-year-old son, Zane, to the men's room, where the boy spotted a loaded Glock 26 sitting atop a toilet paper dispenser and alerted his father. The father, a Marine veteran with weapons training, disarmed the gun and called 911. The Glock belonged to sheriff's detective Luke Hussey.

While certainly an embarrassing episode for Hussey and the sheriff's office, this incident could have had far graver consequences if the Glock had fallen into the wrong hands.

Most of us quickly realize when we have misplaced a cellphone. It is not too much to expect a law enforcement officer to keep better track of his weapon. The Nolans did the right thing and are an example for others.