A Colorado town agreed to pay $25,000 to a man who was arrested while openly carrying a holstered firearm into a movie theater nine days after a deadly mass shooting in nearby Aurora.
Jim Mapes was arrested July 29, 2012, during a movie at the Cinnebare Theater in Thornton after someone reported an armed man had gone into the theater.
“The movie stopped and the lights came on,” Mapese said. “Someone said, ‘I just got a call from my friend who said there’s someone in the theater with a gun.’”
Mapes said he stood up and told fellow moviegoers he had a concealed carry permit, but officers arrested him for possession of a dangerous weapon in a liquor or beer establishment.
Police issued a summons to Mapes claiming that he was “brandishing or flourishing his firearm,” but he claims it never left his holster.
Mapes told KMGH-TV at the time that he had worn his gun into the same theater several times before without incident.
Police later dropped the charges, and Mapes sued the city of Thornton.
“We don’t take and use the mood of the moment to take way people’s rights,” said his attorney, Robert Wareham.
The city agreed to the settlement but did not admit wrongdoing.
Colorado permits the open carry of firearms, with the exception of Denver.
Watch this interview with Mapes shortly after his arrest, posted online by KDVR-TV: