AR-15 raffle pulled from school’s DARE fundraiser following recent mass shootings
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV/Gray News) – An AR-15 rifle will no longer be raffled off at a school benefit in Missouri following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers.
The raffle was to be held on June 9 as a part of the annual golf tournament that benefits the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program at Belton schools, sponsored by the Belton Police Athletic Association. The association has sponsored the golf tournament for 30 years and has regularly raised funds for the DARE program by raffling off firearms.
According to Lt. Dan Davis, the association decided months ago to raffle off an AR-15 rifle at this year’s tournament. In the aftermath of the Uvalde mass shooting – in which the gunman used an AR-15-style rifle – that decision has since been pulled back.
“After recent tragic events, the Police Athletic Association decided that it would be inappropriate to continue with the raffle as planned,” Davis said. “As a result, the golf tournament will not include a rifle in the raffle for this year.”
Davis said that the winners of the annual firearm raffles have always had to obtain the firearms through a federally licensed gun dealer and pass all applicable background checks. He also emphasized that no one could receive a firearm who could not purchase that same gun “through the same means and with the same restrictions as every citizen.”
Tim York, a gun enthusiast who said he supports most Second Amendment issues, said it is inappropriate to raffle off an AR-15 for a youth-centered program like DARE.
“Pulling [the gun raffle] was the right move,” York said. “There are so many things we could raffle off here.”
Organizers with the Police Athletic Association will refund raffle ticket holders.
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