UPDATE: Salon’s Roger Sollenberger follows up, and Rep. Lauren Boebert is in full-auto backpedal:
Asked Monday morning about the gift, Boebert told Salon in a text message, “Who said I accepted it? You saw a presentation.” She would not say whether she refused, returned or did not accept the gift, replying: “I didn’t leave with it. You’re grasping at air here.”
…In a later text, Boebert cited this loophole: “I do not have possession of the firearm. I may purchase it from the current owner in the future. That has not yet been determined.” Asked who that current owner was, Boebert replied, “I’m not telling you or anyone.” [Pols emphasis]
Not shady at all! No word on the background check the state of Colorado requires for her to take possession of her custom engraved Glock either, but presumably she’ll have to tell the Colorado Bureau of Investigations where she got it–or rather she already should have.
It doesn’t seem like anyone thought this through very well, but the responsibility is, as always, at the top.
Rural Colorado United Tweeted out a video this morning of Rep. Lauren Boebert filmed yesterday that’s stirring up fresh controversy for Colorado’s most controversial congressional freshman ever:
BREAKING: Lauren Boebert breaks state and federal laws accepting gifted gun from white supremacist Stephen Moore on video. Illegal to accept gifts over $50 and illegal to gift guns in CO #copolitics #resignboebert pic.twitter.com/q31L6aTiRV
— Rural Colorado United (@RuralCOUnited) January 25, 2021
And yes, there are both state and federal legal problems with what Boebert can be seen on camera doing here, accepting a customized Glock pistol from the Bikers for Trump–presumably as thanks for Boebert audaciously challenging gun regulations inside the U.S. Capitol in the days after the January 6th insurrection. It’s against congressional ethics rules for members of Congress to accept gifts valued over $50–a similar provision exists under Colorado’s Amendment 41, but federal officials are exempt. It is further illegal under Colorado law to transfer a firearm to anyone other than a family member without completing a background check with just a few exceptions that do not apply here.
It appears that sometime between yesterday when this illegal firearm transfer and disallowed gift in excess of $50 to a member of Congress took place and this morning, somebody informed Boebert that she had past-tense broken the law:
I had a great time with Colorado Boots on the Ground Bikers for Trump.
Very grateful for their support and for their gesture with this custom Glock 22.
I like it so much, I plan on buying it so I can keep it.
What a great group of patriots! pic.twitter.com/gGMW65uW80
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) January 25, 2021
The problem, of course, is that Boebert had already accepted the gift, the day before she made this announcement under pressure from Rural Colorado United. This probably isn’t the first time such a situation has occurred, and we’ll have to see how the rules are interpreted in this case. But it certainly appears that Boebert took illegal possession of a gun yesterday from a known militia member, then sought to cover her ass today by saying after the fact that she’d pay for it.
And either way, transferring a gun between two people who are not immediate family without a background check for that transaction is illegal in Colorado.
Just like bringing pork sliders up to the minimum required temperature, ignorance of the law is no excuse.