Thornton police arrested a Northglenn man Sunday after they said he walked into a movie theater with a handgun strapped to his waist.
James G. Mapes, 48, went into the Cinebarre theater at 10001 N. Grant Street with a handgun in an open carry position, said police spokesman Matt Barnes.
Police evacuated several theaters as a precaution and found Mapes, Barnes said.
"The subject's possession of the firearm caused alarm to the theater staff and fellow movie patrons," Barnes said in a news release.
Mapes was arrested for investigation of possession of a dangerous weapon in a liquor and beer establishment, Barnes said. The theater has a bar.
Mapes told 7NEWS he has carried a gun, both concealed and in the open, to the Cinebarre in the past without any problems.
He said he has owned a gun for several years for self protection and felt it was wise to bring the gun to the movie Sunday night.
KOA reported Mapes was wearing a shirt that said "Liberalism leads to terrorism." When asked about the shirt, Mapes said he put it on earlier in the day and didn't think about how it would connect to the gun. He said he didn't intend to make a political statement.
Mapes was booked into the Thornton jail and released on a municipal summons.
Thornton police said they are still investigating the case.
Theaters across the country have been jittery after 12 people were killed and 58 others were wounded at an Aurora movie theater on July 20 during a showing of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."