November 3, 2016
Gun Raffles Stoke Debate

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police will be raffling off a gun every day in the month of May. The contest is drawing criticism as one of the weapons to be given away will include a Ruger SR-556 (AR-15 style) rifle which holds a 30-round magazine.

The model of semiautomatic rifle is similar to the firearms used in both the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut and the firefighter ambush in New York in December, as well as the Smith & Wesson M&P15 used in the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting earlier in July.

The New Hampshire Police will not be the only ones to use guns as a lure for fundraising.

The West Fargo's Youth Hockey Association of North Dakota will also be holding a similar contest in March. They too will be giving away guns, and a 2013 Polaris Ranger all-terrain vehicle (ATV), at the 200 Gun Raffle Banquet.

$40 a ticket at the 200 Gun Raffle Banquet gives the purchaser a chance at winning one of several handguns, shotguns, and semi-automatic rifles from popular manufacture models like Remington, Mossberg, S&W, Winchester, and Weatherby.

In June, the Cheshire County Shooting Sports Education Foundation (CCSSEF) in Keene, New Hampshire will be raffling 30 guns, for 30 days, for $30 a ticket.

The controversial fundraisers are an effort to raise funds for separate local youth and training programs, and plans for a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range.

However, with a polarizing nationwide gun-control debate currently underway, many are seeing these upcoming gun-raffling campaigns as events planned in poor taste.

Critics are expressing a concern these events are trivializing the violence associated with firearms while capitalizing on them, alongside safety concerns over the seemingly casual access. Supporters and event organizers assure that the process is entirely legal, as outlined in the advertising. Both state and federal gun laws will be upheld and properly executed by federally licensed firearm dealers.

Do you think gun raffles are the best way for businesses, youth groups, and public services to raise additional money?

[Image via WFHA 200 Gun Raffle Poster]