At first, Draper police said they just wanted to talk to the gun owner who left a loaded weapon on a diaper-changing table at the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium — and return the firearm — but by Wednesday, they had changed their minds.
All it took, Sgt. Scott Adams said, was putting their heads together.
“We reviewed it as an executive staff and just began talking about it a little more, just throwing all the dangers in that it presented,” Adams said. “So we decided it would probably be more appropriate that the [district attorney] take a look at the case and decide if there was going to be enough information for a criminal charge.”
A woman found the .380-caliber handgun on the restroom changing table at the aquarium about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday and called police.
Despite the shift, Adams said the department isn’t recommending the gun owner be charged. But if the owner is charged, Adams said, a case could be made for reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor.
The gun owner, whose name has not been released, has been cooperating with police since picking up the weapon Tuesday evening.
Investigators will turn over the information to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday, Adams said.
In light of this case, Adams encouraged gun owners to be mindful of where their firearms are at all times.
“You have that responsibility,” he said, “to make sure they’re secure and on your person.”