‘Not adequate security’ for Boebert town hall in Montrose to proceed

County GOP chairman cited ‘credible threats’ against against church, congresswoman

By: - January 30, 2021 5:27 pm

Rep. Lauren Boebert attends a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

On Friday morning Gary Lear, pastor of the Circle 3 Cowboy Fellowship church in Montrose, received a call from a local resident representing U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert seeking to set up a town hall meeting at the church for the following day, Jan. 30, he said. It would have been the Republican congresswoman’s first town hall since she was elected in November. However, by Saturday morning Lear was notified that the meeting was canceled.

“It was a short timeline. They called Friday morning for Saturday,” Lear said. “All I was told, there were security concerns, and given that, and a short amount of time to prepare,” they wanted to cancel.

Lear said he was unaware of any threats against Boebert, although he said the church received multiple intimidating calls after notice of the town hall meeting was posted to the church’s Facebook page.

Pastor Gary Lear, of Circle 3 Cowboy Fellowship in Montrose, posted a message to the church’s Facebook about the cancellation of a town hall with Rep. Lauren Boebert on Jan. 30, 2021. (screenshot)

Ben Stout, Boebert’s communications director, responded to Newsline’s request for comment with an emailed statement: “The Congresswoman was planning on stopping by a small private event. This was not an official town hall organized by her office. It became clear that there was not adequate security for the number of people that were planning to attend the event. The Congresswoman looks forward to meeting with members of the community in the future.”

Boebert, 34, a resident of Silt, is a first-term representative from Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. She has drawn national attention for her combative style and for her role in voting to object to electoral votes in Congress on Jan. 6, the day of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. She is a gun rights advocate and insists on carrying her Glock on U.S. Capitol grounds. She’s also well-known for her restaurant, Shooters Grill, in Rifle, where servers carry handguns strapped to their waist.

One person threatened to contact the IRS regarding Circle 3 Cowboy’s nonprofit status and the issue of separation of church and state, Lear said.

The pastor countered that “we did not invite them. Our purpose is to get people on our property, and then come back and join us for church.”

Rep. Lauren Boebert, then the Republican candidate for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, speaks to supporters and the press during a MAGA meet up with the Trump Victory Team at the Old Mesa County Courthouse in Grand Junction, Oct. 8, 2020. (Barton Glasser for Colorado Newsline)

Another caller asked “are you a gun cult?”

“We’re not promoting political events — we’re just allowing use of the building,” Lear said.

Montrose County Republican Chairman Ray Langston couldn’t provide details regarding the reason for the cancellation at the church, but he said “There’s been credible threats, against the facility and (Boebert).”

“The threats were handled through her organization,” he said.

Although it’s unclear where the alleged threats originated, Langston was ready to lay blame.

“That’s the way the left works,” Langston said. “They want to silence all other voices. You can’t have dissenting voices getting the conservative message out. We’re silenced on social media and the mainstream media — except for negative press. The left has become Nazis.”

He called reports that former President Donald Trump or Boebert may have incited the Jan. 6 insurrection “totally bulls***.”

He said from now on he’s not going to advertise political meetings “because of this bulls***” and that he will only notify voting members of the Republican Party.

“It’s hard enough having meetings because of the COVID bulls***. This COVID thing is being used politically. It’s hard to sort out what’s real and what’s bulls***.”

Requests for comment from the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office and the Montrose Police Department were not immediately returned.

The Montrose Daily Press reported that Lear had filed a report with the MCSO and that Montrose County Sheriff Gene Lillard said his agency was asked to provide security for the town hall. The sheriff’s office often provides security for similar events and Lillard said he was not aware of a specific concern when his department received the town hall request, the Montrose Daily Press reported.

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