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Thornton Man Facing Charges After Carrying Gun Into Movie Theater

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Jim Mapes was charged for bringing a gun into a Thornton movie theater. Those charges were eventually dropped. (credit: CBS)

Jim Mapes was charged for bringing a gun into a Thornton movie theater. Those charges were eventually dropped. (credit: CBS)

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)- A man who carried a gun into a movie theater in Thornton is facing charges even though he has a permit.

Jim Mapes said he’s done the same thing many times before without any problems.

Cinebarre employees called police after seeing a gun strapped to Mapes waist on Sunday. Police evacuated nine theaters as a precaution.

Officers cited Mapes with displaying a firearm in a calculating and dangerous fashion. Prosecutors will decide whether to pursue the charge.

“I understand people are jumpy following that shooting. The fact is there was no crime being committed and there were no reports of violence,” said Mapes.

Mapes claims he was wearing the same gun the night of the shooting at the Century 16 theater which left 12 people dead and left 58 others injured.

Mapes said officers searched him and let him go that night. He said he wears a gun all the time.

“Mr. Mapes was in full compliance with the law. He did not wave his weapon. He did not display it in an overt fashion, he was sitting there minding his own business,” said Mapes’ attorney Robert Warehem.

Mapes said he never brandished his firearm.

Police did not clarify if the act of simply wearing the gun to the movie theater was enough to make patrons feel endangered.

Mapes’ attorney said more should follow his client’s lead.

“The problem in Aurora was not too many weapons in the theater, the problem in Aurora was not enough,” said Warehem.

When asked if he would bring a gun into a movie theater again, Mapes replied, “Yeah. Unless the theater doesn’t allow it but then I’d find another place to go.”

Police in Thornton said the case hasn’t been reviewed by the city. It’s unclear if they will continue with the charges against Mapes. Mapes’ attorney said they may sue Thornton and ask for a formal apology.

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