Lauren Boebert’s meteoric rise in Colorado politics, from a virtual unknown to congresswoman in two short years, can be tracked by the media coverage surrounding her staunch fundamentalist defense of the Second Amendment and her controversial public antics with firearms.
Boebert won her seat in a Republican primary upset against the five-term incumbent, Scott Tipton, who mirrored Boebert’s hardline stance on gun rights. Tipton was endorsed by former President Donald Trump and wielded an endorsement and an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
The following is a compilation of Boebert’s notable history with guns and gun rights:
Shooters Grill as Ground Zero
Launching her public image as an entrepreneur, Boebert’s Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado ignited curiosity with servers in the restaurant wearing holsters and armed with loaded weapons. The gimmick served Boebert well in transitioning her brand to a successful political campaign in a rural, western, conservative congressional district, generally sympathetic to gun rights and defensive toward any regulations on guns or gun ownership.
“Hell no, Beto!”
In a 2019 Democratic presidential primary debate, candidate Beto O’Rourke of Texas reiterated his position in support of a gun buyback for assault weapons. When O’Rourke appeared at a campaign stop in Aurora, Boebert capitalized on the opportunity, driving from Rifle with her Glock strapped to her hip to confront O’Rourke and tell him, “Hell, no!” The ploy garnered national media coverage for Boebert.
Associations With Far-Right, Extremist Militias
Despite her denials, Boebert has conspired with anti-government, far-right, extremist militia groups (III%ers) and hate groups (Proud Boys) to appear and “provide security for her public appearances, and pose for photos with armed militia members in campaign photographs and social media promotional materials
Supporting Armed Protestors in State Capitols
Following the protest last summer at Michigan’s state capitol, where armed protestors entered the building and attempted to gain access to the House floor and which included plans by extremists to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Boebert expressed support for the armed protestors, saying, “I don’t see why they’re not allowed to [enter legislative chambers with guns.]”
Misleading Ad Suggests Boebert will strut DC streets with loaded Glock
One of Boebert’s first acts after being sworn in to Congress was to launch a fundraising ad on Twitter in which she appears to load and holster her Glock, and then stroll the streets of the capital. The Washington D.C. police chief called out Boebert for implying that she would carry her firearm on the streets of the nation’s capital and in the halls of Congress, which is actually illegal without a concealed carry permit.
Evading Security in the House Chambers
In response to the insistence by Boebert and other Republicans to carry guns at the U.S. Capitol, metal detectors were placed at the doors of the U.S. Chamber, where weapons are explicitly not allowed. When Boebert set off metal detectors upon entering, she refused to allow police to review the contents of her bag. This happened just days after a violent insurrection on the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol. Congressional colleagues from both parties worried that Boebert was endangering their lives.
Breaking the Law in Accepting Gun as a Gift
Last January, a noted white supremacist, Stephen Moore, representing his affiliated group Bikers for Trump, showed his appreciation to Boebert by bestowing her with a customized, engraved 9-mm Glock. The acceptance of such a gift violated Colorado’s campaign finance law (Amendment 41), state laws regulating the transfer of firearms, and Congressional ethics rules. Under pressure, Boebert said she would retroactively pay for the gift in order to be in legal compliance.
A “Shrine to Gun Fetish” as her Zoom Background
In February, Boebert appeared on a video conference call of the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee with an arrangement of three guns — two of them AR-15s — as her backdrop for the call. The Democrats on that committee subsequently adopted a rule prohibiting guns in committee meetings.