Schmuck of the Week

James Mueller and James Chavez: Fathers + daughters + guns = Shmucks of the Week

Most dads are protective, especially with their daughters. After all, dads know what thoughts go through the male brain.

But most dads are able to channel those protective instincts by NOT arming their juvenile daughters with loaded weapons and then taking their respective kids to two of the places where guns are most frowned upon: a school and the airport.

Not so with these two Denver-area dads, according to recent police reports.

First there was James Chavez, 27, who put a loaded gun into his four-year-old daughter's backpack before she went to school. The weapon was discovered by a teacher at Molholm Elementary School in Lakewood, police said.

First, Chavez blamed mom, but later changed his story, according to news reports, saying he carries the .22 for protection and had put it in the backpack, meaning to remove it later. He was charged with suspicion of child abuse, unlawfully carrying a weapon on school grounds and reckless endangerment.

And then on August 30, James Mueller, 44, was arrested after his teenage daughter attempted to go through security at DIA with a loaded .22 inside her purse.

The Denver District Attorney's Office said Mueller had given the gun to daughter for protection and that she had forgotten it was inside her purse.

Dad was charged with unlawfully providing or permitting a juvenile to possess a handgun and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His daughter, a juvenile, was also charged with illegal possession of a handgun.

But both Chavez and Mueller can possess their new status as Shmucks of the Week.

Check out more shmucks in our Shmuck of the Week archive.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes