Speaking on conservative talk radio last month, Colorado congressional candidate Lauren Boebert said underage servers at her diner, Shooters Grill, are not allowed to carry guns, like other wait staff does.
But one 17-year-old server featured in a news report says Boebert “allows me to” carry a gun, even though it’s illegal in Colorado to do so.
“Well, because I’m seventeen, I actually can’t carry it everywhere,” said one of Boebert’s servers in a Barcroft TV interview, shot in 2015, referring to the gun on her hip. “I can carry at work because it’s Lauren’s private property. And she allows me to.”
Even though the interview with the teenager is featured on the website for Shooters Grill (See below.), Boebert told KHOW’s Ross Kaminsky that underage servers in her diner don’t carry firearms.
“Not all of our waitresses carry,” Boebert told Kaminsky. “Most of them do. But some of them are, you know, 16 and in high school. Luckily for me, some of them aren’t going back to school. They are doing some home school work. So I didn’t lose out on them as employees, and they are really fantastic.”
Colorado law bans juveniles from possessing a handgun. Exceptions (e.g., at a hunter’s safety course or on the premises of a parent, legal guardian, or grandparent) do not apply to a juvenile carrying a gun as part of a job serving “Ballistic Chicken” and “Smoking Gun” brisket at a place like Shooters Grill.
A similar federal law has an exception for a minor possessing a gun “in the course of employment,” but it’s tough to conclude the exception would reasonably apply in this case. And furthermore, the federal law states specifically that federal exceptions allowing juveniles to possess firearms are legal only if they are “in accordance with State and local law.”
Under Colorado law, if any person knows a juvenile is possessing a gun illegally, as in Boebert’s case, and “fails to make reasonable efforts to prevent such violation,” they commit the crime of “permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun.
Boebert’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for an answer to the question of why the candidate said on the radio she doesn’t allow juveniles to carry guns at Shooters Grill, when the website of her restaurant shows a juvenile saying she carries a gun in the diner with Boebert’s permission.
But whether Boebert gave her server the gun or not, she’d face a class 4 felony–either for “unlawfully providing a handgun to a juvenile” or for “permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun.”
Boebert has been arrested multiple times after warrants were issued for her failure to show up for court.
She has demonstrated disregard for laws targeting juveniles in the past as well.
In one instance, a Mesa County sergeant had to “physically push her backwards” as Boebert was encouraging people who’d been arrested on suspicion of underage drinking at a concert to “leave the custody of law enforcement,” according to police records first reported by Colorado Newsline.
“Lauren continued yelling and causing the underage drinkers to become unruly,” a Mesa County sheriff reported about the incident in 2015. “Lauren’s behavior was becoming likely to cause a disorderly response from those in the area attending the concert.”
Boebert recently downplayed her criminal record, telling a crowd in Walsenburg that she “even got a pretty mug shot” out of being booked at the county jail.
Boebert faces Democrat Diane Mitsch Bush in her contest to represent Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers a large area in western and southern Colorado.
Directly below, listen to Boebert on KHOW Sept. 2, 2020. Below the audio, watch her teenage server discuss how she carries the gun at work.