BREAKING: Yellowstone Park Lodge Was on Lockdown after Man on Toilet Accidentally Fired Gun

Here is why we need fewer, not more, people carrying sidearms.

Sources who were present at an Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone Park on Wednesday say the lodge was put on active shooter alert after a man dropped a handgun in the men’s bathroom. The sources say the man had the firearm in a shoulder holster and it fell out and accidentally discharged while he was using a stall toilet.   Also using the restroom at the time were an 8-year-old boy and a senior official from the Virginia Governor’s office. They were uninjured  but emerged frightened and with temporary hearing impairment from the .45 caliber blast.

The man fled the scene and it is not known whether he has been apprehended or identified. Nor is it known why he was carrying the firearm in Yellowstone.  He may have believed that Montana requires his protection from Syrian refugees.

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70 Comments on "BREAKING: Yellowstone Park Lodge Was on Lockdown after Man on Toilet Accidentally Fired Gun"

  1. Linda J. Anderson | August 11, 2016 9:41 PM at 9:41 PM |

    The lodge is in Wyoming not Montana.

  2. True, Linda, so maybe he thought that Montana needed protection from Wyoming refugees, who actually may be more dangerous.

  3. It is legal to carry in National parks. Why he fled is a mystery. I would carry in the park due to the wildlife there and not knowing when you could turn a corner and meet a grizzly bear of wolf knowing that the animals are wild, not tame like some of the moronic Tourons there !

    • True, legal to carry. Legal to transport. I believe you have a false sense of need/security regarding carrying for defense against wildlife. Handgun versus bear in the short term and at short range, meh. Spray would be much more effective for human escape from the situation. And wolves? Please. I’d be more kind to the “Tourons” when you have these beliefs about wildlife safety and travel in a wild park.

    • Why he fled is no mystery. He didn’t want his mug plastered all over social media, being gun-shamed forever more. Yes, this big, macho guy with his gun proudly worn in a shoulder holster ran away like a girl (no offense to girls intended) rather than face the music.

      And BTW, that wolf is far more likely to run off into the woods in a surprise encounter. With the bear, good luck. You’ll be its lunch before you can get off a shot that would stop a grizzly with a handgun. I suppose ignorance is bliss. Until it isn’t.

    • Eugene Kiedrowski | August 12, 2016 11:10 AM at 11:10 AM |

      Legal to carry yes, not legal to discharge or hunt in Yellowstone. Also, it is not legal to bring your firearm into buildings in the Park and as such all doors have signs stating so. He fled because he knew he was breaking the law. Also, in reference to stupidity, only a moron would carry a weapon that is ready to fire if it was dropped, not responsible to his personal or the public’s safety. I work in the Park and could have been injured by this jerk.

    • Carrying in the park may be legal but shooting the animals is not! Grizzly bear or a wolf and your packing to defend yourself? Try bear spray, it’s safer and will actually stop a bear which a hand gun would not! There is absolutely no reason to carry a gun in Yellowstone!

  4. Gives “Shoot the shit out of it” a new meaning

  5. I’ve been to many of our Nation’s national parks, mostly out west, for decades, and have never needed or even seen a firearm. People are so scared nowadays.

  6. The NPS lifted a ban on firearms in the park several years ago. The first consequence was a toddler getting her hands on a handgun in the family campsite and accidentally inflicting a fatal wound on herself. Is a handgun much use against a grizzly bear? And frankly, anyone likely to be all about open carry and his Second Amendment right to endanger everyone around him, isn’t likely to be fit enough to get very far into the backcountry where he MIGHT encounter a bear, anyway.

  7. Local sources are confirming that the alleged incident happened in the Old Faithful LODGE, not the Old Faithful INN. Big difference.

  8. no one should try to shoot a bear- you’ll end up getting killed yourself.

  9. While possessing a handgun in Yellowstone is legal, discharging it is not. Using good sense in the park in many settings is the best deterrant for almost any situation. This has kept me safe in the park since I started going there in 1989.

  10. People in Alaska carry shotguns with heavy loads that will stop a bear in it tracks. Most nut cases with a pistol will be food for a bear-period.
    If your pistol drops out of you shoulder holster you are a dump shit and should not be carrying.

  11. While spray is considered superior to a sidearm at close range notice how rangers when investigating a bear incident bring shotguns. I’d forget the firearm for bears but it sure would be tempting if seeing a wolf to fear for one’s life. ;-)

  12. Not sure why the man felt it necessary to be armed in a public rest room. Not sure there has ever been a bear encounter in a rest room. Now, there was that scary encounter in a portapotty in Jurassic Park. Perhaps the potty occupant was confused over which park he was in!

  13. Isn’t the 45 a “rapid” fire pistol? Is the shot loud like the 45 ? I had to laugh when I read this story, and yet on the other hand it was somewhat unnerving at what the outcome could have been.

  14. if he was in a gas station or mini mart with you during a hold up……

    • “if he was in a gas station or mini mart with you during a hold up…”
      I would be running away from him just as fast as my legs would carry me to the nearest hiding place before we both end up dead, either by the thieves or by other idiots attempting to be heroes for a day.

  15. “if he was in a gas station or mini mart with you during a hold up……”

    He could get you both killed or end up shooting the clerk?

    Good guy with a in is a myth.

  16. He was on government property and felt compelled to protect himself from and oppressive toilet. Bet he is a Trump supporter too, that would explain the duck and run syndrome.

  17. It’s worth remembering that, according to this U.S. Today article following the fatal shooting of a national park ranger in Washington state, “Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both Democrats, were ardent supporters of the 2009 bill allowing visitors to carry loaded guns into National Parks or National Wildlife Refuges as long as state gun laws are followed.”

    Source: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2012-01-05/Mont-guns-national-parks/52390392/1

  18. Thanks Susan. Yes, it was at the Old Faithful Lodge, not the Inn. And the photo is if the Inn. I had the distinct pleasure of running the Lodge for a few years. The Lodge is the red headed stepchild of the Old Faithful area and one fantastic building!

    • Well said Jim. It’s a good place to dine also!

    • Some will take offense to your stupid “red headed stepchild” reference. Do you even know what that means?!

      • Old Faithful Lodge is actually one of my favorite of the lodges,because of Geyser Hall, which is so big you can play basketball in the wooden structure. It is a pretty damn cool wooden structure….

        “Red headed stepchild?” Though??? Might not be the best description of the Lodge. Because that description was a racial description of Irish and ginger haired immigrants. It goes back to the bad treatment of the Irish in this country. Since Montana and Ireland are so Important to each other’s growth… I find the term…. Ah because I am Montanan Irish myself…. Offensive in this day and age. Let us really try to bury any racial term used by the English Ignorant forefathers who came to this country, and move on to love and understanding for all races and creeds… when discussing and debating today.

        The Inn might be the grandest of construction but the lodge deserves a lot of accolades in itself.

    • Thanks Susan and Jim – I’ve updated the post and the photo – Cowgirl

  19. Jim, the Lodge is great and much nicer than the Inn. More laid back, and only packed right after Old Faithful goes off. I too, worked at the Lodge, I wonder if our paths crossed.
    Beside our “inside” knowledge, this incident was an accident. Though Xanterra doesn’t allow guns inside the buildings, it was an accident. Yes, he was in violation of Xanterra laws, but his 2nd admendment right to carry should supersede company rules. Lesson to be learned here is not all the BS from above but rather if you are going to conceal carry, be sure the “carry” part is secure.

    • It is not a Xanterra law, but a National Park law, to not have a gun in a public building.

    • He was breaking the law.

    • Nice try! Please share your copy of the report of investigation. I look forward to reading it.

      There are few accidents with guns, motor vehicles and other implements. There is more negligence links to little or poor training.

      Paraphrasing Justice Scalia in the Heller opinion, the Second Amendment has limitations.

      Until this person is identified, interrogated (of course he could invoke rights to remain silent and/or counsel) the “why” was the person armed and the circumstances the caused the weapon to discharge will remain speculation. Was it negligence, poor training or a technical malfunction.

      I suggest you and other readers look to the Code of Federal Regulations for more specifics about carrying and using firearms in National Parks.

  20. It’s not about being legal/ illegal to carry at the park. The point is that here is another sad example of someone who has no business carrying a firearm, and will just add fodder for the anti gun establishment. Thankfully no one was just or worse.

    • Rather than use “anti-gun,” think in terms of anti-stupid. There are many people out there driving motor vehicles and carrying firearms that should not be doing either. They pose dangers to themselves and others.

      The Constitution does not prohibit safe operating requirements for either. If police officers and the military must meet recurring standards for firearms, so should anyone desiring to carrying them in public.

      For those of you who missed it, John Wayne is dead. There are too many amateur hero/glory seekers out there looking for an opportunity to use deadly force against another with no concept of the consequences.

  21. I also worked at old faithful, never thought I needed a gun. If you think you must be armed at all times then you should make sure that you are safely storing your weapon. You are also a paranoid hazard.

  22. Why was he carrying a firearm? Because of all the NUTS out there..

  23. A firearm should never discharge from simply being dropped. Sounds like he needs to get rid of that gun.

  24. Idiot tourists should not enter a national park. Stay home; go to your local park – that’s all you can handle!

  25. Why is it that many here don’t want to admit to documented facts when discussing park safety? It seems that personal options let people ignore factual data. I haven’t been to Yellowstone for almost a decade, but now that I have the time and money, I will likely get out there (and Glaicer) many times in the future to do some day hiking.
    I will carry both a handgun where legal and also bear spray. This year alone we have had bear attacks up near Glacier and in Denali. I think there might have been one in the smokies as well. Last year there were bear attacks as well. Recently a guide in Alaska used a 9mm to stop a grizzly. Additionally, other handguns have been used to stop an occurring or likely attack. In addition to bear attacks, there is even a smaller possibility of being attacked by humans. There were two incidents on the Blue Ridge Parkway this year so far. This doesn’t mean I advocate everyone carrying, but not all of us who do carry are complete idiots like the guy in this case. In this incident, the guy was breaking the law and hopefully he will be charged. I’m guessing that is why he fled.

    • The attack near Glacier was a man who ran smack dab into a grizzly while going full speed on his mountain bike. Neither spray nor a gun would have been of any use to him.

  26. Larry J Costalez | August 13, 2016 6:11 AM at 6:11 AM |

    Hey Cowgirl get a life if your so worried about guns and Syrian refugees quality of life move your stupid ass to Colorado and let some of them live I’m your spare bedroom we don’t want your type in Wyoming or Montana anyway!!! It’s our right to carry guns and you and all your conservative cronies need a reality check. N

    • My, isn’t that an Trumpy attitude. And just when did you arrive in either of these two states and who let you sleep in their bedroom?

    • Drunks for Denny | August 13, 2016 6:15 PM at 6:15 PM |

      ” It’s our right to carry guns and you and all your [b]conservative[/b] cronies need a reality check. N”

      My personal vote for dumbass comment of the month.

    • Suggest you catch up on the various Supreme Court of the United States and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decisions on Second Amendment matters. You do not have a right to carry anywhere and use it based upon your whims.

      Start with the SCOTUS case – Heller.

      Otherwise, check back after your firearms related arrest and perhaps someone, maybe Cowgirl, will deposit a few dollars in your commissary fund. BTW there are no guns in local, county, state and federal lock-ups, among other venues.

    • Pretty childish reply Larry. It’s not your decision who comes to Wyoming or Montana. If you don’t like it, tough tacos. Your little temper tizzy maybe an indication on why you shouldn’t have a gun.

  27. Reality check: after lunch man walks across lunch room to bathroom, enters stall, leans over and .45 falls out of quick draw form fit holster with shoulder harness. But safety was OFF.
    Or, man sits down and after awhile remembers his safety might be OFF.
    So he unsnaps holster, pinches butt of his handgun and pulls but gun twists out of his grip, and falls three feet on to the floor. With safety OFF!
    OR, man just sits there, and unholsters to make sure his handgun is not in FIRE position, but gun falls to bathroom floor with safety OFF.
    Or the man wanted to have the Safety of his weapon turned OFF, for what he thought were appropriate reasons, to put his gun into fire position.
    Or maybe he was just handling his penis extender and it fell heavily to the floor and discharged a round how big how far into a beam?

  28. Sorry minority your opinion does not count for the majority. But, what the heck keep rattling the bb’s in the soup can and have fun. Hugs

  29. Grammar Police here: Your is possessive, as in “your stupidity”. You’re is the contraction for you are, as in “you’re really stupid”.

  30. Incorrect, “your stupid”

  31. …..comment

  32. And I agree with all others, Pepper spray is the best way to rid yourself of a nosy bear. Staying a very clear distance from wildlife also, and not trying to pet them might be the second most important thing for tourists of Yellowstone to remember…….

    It is not a zoo, it is a wild place.

    • “…it is a wild place.” Norma, after reading these comments, don’t you find it strange and alarming that the automatic responses include the assumption that people have the right to kill a bear while they are the trespassers, not the bear. I guess the Castle Doctrine doesn’t apply to bears.

  33. RK, if you intend to carry your 9 MM as protection against bears may I recommend that you file the front sight off and removed the rear sight.

    That way when a very pissed off Bear shoves it up your ass it will go much easier for you.

  34. Frank, such a mouth. I was going to suggest that one prioritize
    First is be careful and know when you are in bear country and act accordingly, 2 is a boathorn, 3 is the bear spray and not a three year old can never tested, and 4 is a slower friend. You can bring the 9 along to ensure you don’t suffer because if 1 through 4 didn’t stop him, that 9 or even a 45 is just going to make him even madder.

  35. Grizzly Bears are much easier to get along with then some of the Politicians running for
    Public office, like those that are bully’s, Racist’s, and stupid. Leave the 45 home.
    It’s worthless. Use some peper spray.

    Howard.

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