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Lauren Boebert argued against gun background checks with a story about a man being beaten to death behind her restaurant - but who actually died from a drug overdose.
The Colorado lawmaker made the debunked claim on the floor of the House and has told the same story repeatedly on the campaign trail and in interviews.
Ms Boebert says that the violent incident led to her arm herself and waitresses inside her Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado.
“There was an altercation outside my restaurant where a man was physically beat to death, there were no weapons involved, he was beat to death by another man’s hands,” she said during Wednesday’s debate on bills to expand background checks before gun purchases.
“I have a lot of young girls who work in my restaurant and we needed an equalizer.”
But the story was contradicted by the Colorado Sun newspaper in September 2020 as Ms Boebert campaigned for, and eventually won, Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District.
The Rifle Police Department told the newspaper that it had no record of such a murder.
They did confirm that a man had died on the sidewalk down the street from Shooters Grill in the early hours of 22 August 2013.
Investigators initially treated the death as a possible homicide, but the autopsy later showed that the man died from a drug overdose.
Ms Boebert has been a controversial figure in her first few months in Congress.
In January she set off metal detectors in the House and flouted new security rules put in place after the Capitol riot.
So, on the House floor, Lauren Boebert just argued against gun background checks by telling a story about a man being beaten to death outside her restaurant in CO. But the story is a lie. The man actually died of a drug overdose: https://t.co/fjIRGZkqDP pic.twitter.com/UZn9swvdlQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 10, 2021
She then sparked widespread criticism after mocking Parkland high school shooting survivor David Hogg for supposedly not being “tough” enough.
Ms Boebert targeted the gun control advocate after he criticised Republican leadership for not taking action against her and fellow congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
And this week she came under fire for releasing an attack advert on Nancy Pelosi that featured shooting sound effects at the end.