Aurora, Colorado Teen Walks On Busy Streets With Loaded Shotgun To Make People Feel ‘Comfortable’
As a result of the Aurora theater shooting, 12 people lost their lives and 70 were wounded, but a Colorado teenager decided to walk around that same town carrying a loaded shotgun on the streets.
18-year-old Steve Lohner is seen in a video being stopped by police who responded to 911 calls alerting them about the armed teen.
When the teen was asked why he is carrying a shotgun, he replied, “For the defense of myself and those around me” while he went to the store to buy cigarettes.
Lohner claims he was within his rights to openly carry a shotgun, but he refused to provide the police with identification or his full name, so they had no way of determining that.
“I simply carry this for the protection of myself and those around me,” Lohner said.
His shotgun is a Stoeger P-350 12 gauge, according to KDVR.
According to the teen, he’s on a campaign to call attention to open carry laws. “I feel like a lot of people now they see a weapon like that and they think, you know, James Holmes or Sandy Hook,” he said.
Lohner said he’s trying to make people feel more comfortable.
“It’s alarming to the citizens — alarming enough to where they call,” Aurora police spokesman Frank Fania said.
“He may be within his rights and legal, within the law to carry this gun but if we’re investigating it and he refuses to cooperate that may violate other municipal laws,” Fania said.
Lohner said, “The police treat open carry like you’re a criminal until proven innocent.”
And open carry activists refusing to abide by laws by providing identification — a simple task — is a burden on law enforcement.
“It ties up our resources whether you’re right or wrong,” Fania said.
Lohner said. “If enough people were to lawfully open carry in those areas and do it in a safe and lawful manner then these people would end up feeling comfortable around it.”
Lohner faces a misdemeanor obstruction charge for refusing to show his identification.
KDVR spoke with Lohner’s mother and she told us she is concerned about his safety. The teenager says he intends to continue his open carry walks.
Watch courtesy of KDVR:
The video of the teen’s encounter with police: