Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, population about 9,000, offers American and Mexican cuisine in an old west atmosphere complete with waitresses who have loaded guns strapped to their hips. Many of the patrons are also armed, welcomed by a sign on the front door which says:
“Guns are welcome on premises. Please keep all weapons holstered, unless the need arises. In such cases, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.”
The restaurant is what groups such as Open Carry Texas think all businesses should be like, the owners, Jayson and Lauren Boebert don’t just allow their patrons to pack heat, they actively encourage it, laboring under the mistaken belief that if a thing is legal to do it should be done, a popular misconception harbored by those who believe that if they are not perpetually and openly armed all of their rights will be taken away. There is a word for that — paranoia, defined as “a psychiatric disorder involving systematized delusion, usually of persecution.”
When the Boeberts opened their restaurant in 2013 they were looking for a name that would suit the town, Lauren Boebert says that she consulted several of her Christian friends and although many of them felt that the name sounded like a strip club name she and her husband decided that the name reflected the character of the town and went ahead with it.
“We called it Shooters and started throwing guns and Jesus all over the place,” Lauren said.
The restaurant features a bi-monthly concealed carry training class complete with dinner for $75 although the Boeberts say that they will make it a monthly event if the demand is there. The classes are conducted by Legal Heat, a Utah based group authorized to administer hand gun training in both Colorado and Utah.
On a recent morning a reporter for The Post Independent asked customers how they felt about being surrounded by so many guns and found them to be fully supportive of the policy.
“We think it’s just fine — we’re very positive about it,” said Wayne Greenwald who, with wife Martha lives in Grand Marais, Michigan. “We carry guns ourselves and own a rifle, shotgun and handguns. We live in a very small town and we take care of our own crime problems. No one comes to Grand Marais to break into someone’s house.”
“It’s safe and it fits the town well,” said Madison Potter of Rifle.
The Police Chief, John Dyer said that the town has very little crime, particularly violent crime, the last time there was a homicide was 2001 when Michael Steven Stagner went on a hate fueled rampage targeting Latinos as he screamed about illegal immigration he shot seven people killing four.
Dyer has no problem with the Boeberts’ policy, “If it was a bar, I might be saying something different. But I have no problem with it,” he said. “And besides, they make a really good burger.”
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, the man who decides who does and doesn’t get a concealed carry permit also approves of Shooters’ policy. “I encourage people to get a concealed handgun permit,” he said. “I think there’s this misunderstanding that we can always be there. But I’ve got about one deputy per 1,000 people. People have the absolute constitutional right to protect themselves.”
Vallario says that the number of applications his department receives has been steady for several years with 124 new permits and 190 renewals issued so far this year, a slightly slower pace than last year when he issued 534 new permits and 277 renewals.
h/t: Death and Taxes