According to Salon, in a video that was apparently captured in July of this year, an 8-year-old son of Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) “can be seen singing, dancing and playing with cigarette lighters — while left alone in a room a few feet away from a high-capacity rifle.” It’s unclear whether the weapon was loaded at the time, although Boebert previously suggested after appearing in front of a collection of guns during a House hearing that she keeps at least some of her firearms loaded. Either way, Colorado prohibits gun owners from keeping weapons outside of gun safes whenever they know or could be expected to know that a “juvenile or a resident who is ineligible to possess a firearm can gain access to the firearm.”
After the Congresswoman had guns in her Zoom background for her virtual appearance at that hearing, Salon notes that amid further scrutiny, “Additional photos of the firearms in question suggest that two of the rifles were loaded with 30-round magazines and a third with an even larger magazine.” The weapon visible in the video of the Congresswoman’s son appears to be one of the same guns shown behind Boebert during that Congressional hearing, Salon adds. Footage of Boebert’s son around a rifle was drawn at least in part from the social media site called TikTok.
Nick Suplina, who serves as managing director of law and policy at the advocacy group known as Everytown for Gun Safety, told Salon as follows:
‘Storing firearms securely is one of the simplest ways to prevent gun violence, especially when unintentional shootings are rising at an alarming pace… Almost every day in the United States, a child gets their hands on a gun and unintentionally kills or injures someone. In fact, research from Everytown shows that there have been at least 259 unintentional shootings by children so far this year.’
More acutely, there’s also the possibility of criminal liability in Colorado for failing to adequately secure firearms as required by law. Violations of the specific provisions in question are classified as misdemeanor offenses, and as Suplina broadly elaborated, since July of this year, “a person who does not ensure that their firearms are both stored securely and rendered inaccessible to a child or prohibited person can be charged with a crime.” Apparently, consequences for offenses under this law would most often take the form of fines.