Gun Left Behind At NC Vacation Rental

Keith Srakocic

For most of us, if we go on a trip, our gun goes with us. Unless the law precludes me from taking it, my firearm goes either on my hip or in my luggage, depending on the situation, and I know I’m far from alone in that.

However, one thing I do while out of town with my gun is to get meticulous about where it is and how it’s secured. If I have to transport it in my luggage, I’m almost obsessive about making sure it doesn’t get left behind.

Clearly, that’s not universal.

KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. — An Outer Banks cleaning service found a loaded pistol last week in the children’s room of a Kill Devil Hills beach house.

The Glock handgun was found in a drawer in a room with bunk beds and toys in a closet, said Rebecca Lancaster, owner of Island Time Property Solutions.

The room was used by adults last week, but a family with children moved in this week.

“If the cleaners had not seen it, that could have been tragic,” said Lancaster, who is a registered gun owner and supports gun rights. “This is such a big issue and people don’t see it, how deadly it could be, even as an accident.”

The incident and others like it have prompted police warnings that urge vacationers to keep track of their guns and keep them safely locked when not being used.

Packing and leaving on time can be rushed and belongings get left behind. But a gun should get another level of attention, said Capt. John Towler of the Kill Devil Hills Police.

“Your gun should be as primary in your mind as your keys and wallet or purse when you are leaving your rental or hotel,” he said in an email.

Lancaster turned the pistol into the Kill Devil Hills Police. The responding officer said it was the third gun left behind in a beach rental that week.

Now, I get being in a rush to get out by a certain time. I’ve been there. I think we all have, actually. You’re trying to get out in time and hit the road so you can make it home and recover from your vacation.

The thing is, if you’re carrying a gun, you can’t afford to rush all that much. Your gun needs to be the first thing packed up unless it’s traveling on your hip, and if that’s the case, you should put it there first instead. You don’t look at it and think, “I’ll get that later.”

See, if three guns were turned into police in that same week, how many weren’t turned in? What I mean is, how many were found by members of the cleaning crew who might not have such good morals? Do you really want your gun getting into the hands of a criminal simply because you brainfarted and forgot to pack it?

We’re in a battle for the very soul of this nation. More than ever, gun rights are under attack, and our answer has always been that responsible gun ownership is a good thing for the nation. While I have no doubt people who leave their guns behind are a minute fraction of the total gun-owning population, it still makes us all look bad. This is going to come up when someone talks about responsible gun owners. We all know it.

So if you’re traveling with your gun, use your brain. Stop screwing around and take care of your guns so that this crap doesn’t keep happening.