Speed Reads

food and firearms

At Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado, the waitstaff packs heat

They love a theme at Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado. The menu features the Swiss and Wesson and Guac 9 burgers, and owner Lauren Bobert and most of the waitstaff are armed, in Bobert's case with a 9 mm semiautomatic handgun.

"I wanted to start carrying just for my protection," Bobert told Nightline. "This is my establishment, so I didn't see anything wrong with that. I began to open carry." Bobert, a 27-year-old mother of four, opened Shooters Grill last year. While she says it's "not a gimmick," the theme does bring in customers from hundreds of miles away. Those who can't make it to Shooters show their support from afar. One man, who said he was a U.S. Marine from California, called and offered to buy a gun for any waitress without one; that's how Carsyn Copeland ended up with a Kimber .45 three days ago.

Not everyone is a fan, and Bobert said she regularly receives angry phone calls, letters, and posts on social media. Dave Hoover of Lakeview, Colorado, lost his nephew in the Aurora theater shooting in 2012, and is afraid people might forget about the impact of guns. "This is America, they're allowed to [open carry], but you can't glamorize the gun," he said. "What we need to worry about is keeping the guns out of [the hands of] those who shouldn't have firearms."

Bobert would like it to become "normal" to see people carrying guns around, and says she believes that would keep violence down. She argues that everyone who comes into Shooters Grill is safe, and nobody in the establishment has to be concerned about getting shot: "I'm more worried about my cooks getting burnt in the kitchen than a firearm going off in the restaurant."