July 3, 2014 6:15 pm

Waitresses carry loaded guns at gun-friendly U.S. restaurant

Waitresses Ashlee Saenz, left, Lauren Boebert, Jessie Spaulding, and Dusty Sheets pose for a photo with their sidearms in front of the Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., June 23, 2014.

AP Photo/Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Christopher Mullen

RIFLE, Colo. – A western Colorado restaurant doesn’t just allow its customers to openly carry guns. Its waitresses carry loaded weapons right on their hips.

Colorado is not among those states where openly carrying guns anywhere in public is legal but at Shooters Grill in the river town of Rifle, open display of firearms is encouraged, The Glenwood Springs Post-Independent reports.

A sign on the front door reads, “Guns are welcome on premises. Please keep all weapons holstered, unless the need arises. In such cases, judicious marksmanship is appreciated.”

A sign on the front door of Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., June 23, 2014, welcomes sidearms.

AP Photo/Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Christopher Mullen

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Shooters owner Lauren Boebert said she is simply allowing customers and employees to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.

“We encourage it, and the customers love that they can come here and express their rights,” Boebert said.

READ MORE: Target ‘respectfully’ asks US customers not to bring firearms into stores

She chose the restaurant name last year as a nod to its gun policy.

“I consulted with my Christian friends and everyone said ‘Shooters’ sounded like a bar or a strip joint,” Lauren Boebert said with a laugh. “But I thought, this is Rifle – it was founded around guns and the Old West. We called it Shooters and started throwing guns and Jesus all over the place.”

A group that supports gun restrictions told the newspaper it favours concealed carry over open carry because that requires the person to have training and meet other requirements to obtain a permit.

Jessie Spaulding a waitress at the Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colo., brings food to a table, June 23. 2014.

AP Photo/Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Christopher Mullen

“We stand behind the Second Amendment, but we don’t encourage people to carry guns as a public display in places like stores or restaurants,” said Jennifer Hope, the Colorado chapter leader for the national Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The group was founded in 2012 after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut.

The issue has made headlines after gun rights activists carrying loaded rifles gathered in Target stores in Texas, Alabama and North Carolina to demonstrate their support of “open carry” laws. On Wednesday, Target asked its customers “respectfully” to not bring firearms into stores, even where allowed by law.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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