Anti-Gun Activists Take Aim At Gun Raffles

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Earlier this month a gun raffle being held as a fundraiser for the West Fargo Hockey Club drew national attention when anti-gun activists took note of it (ironically enough, the national attention had the side effect of selling a lot of raffle tickets).

Now the West Fargo raffle, along with a similar raffle being held by law enforcement agencies in New Hampshire, are being targeted by anti-gun groups for shut down:

The New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police is raffling off a gun every day in May, including a Ruger AR-15-style rifle with 30-round magazine similar to the one used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six educators in December. The players in West Fargo’s Youth Hockey Association will raffle off 200 guns and an all-terrain vehicle next month. Up for grabs are shotguns, handguns hunting rifles and semi-automatic rifles.

Both were planned long before the shooting in Newtown invigorated calls for increased gun control. That didn’t stop critics from blasting the raffles as, at best, in poor taste and, at worst, criminal.

John Rosenthal, founder and director of the Massachusetts-based Stop Handgun Violence, called the chiefs’ raffle “insane” and “criminally irresponsible.”

“In 33 states, including Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, the winner of this AR-15 can turn around the same day and sell it to anyone without an ID or background check,” Rosenthal said. “They should cancel their raffle and give away a nice mountain bike or snowmobile.”

Jonathan Lowy, director of the legal action program at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said he knows of no state in which the raffle would be illegal. But “having these gun giveaways and gun raffles can trivialize the seriousness of firearms,” Lowy said.

In a letter posted on the chiefs association website, Salem Police Chief Paul Donovan extended his sympathies to the families of those killed in Newtown but stressed it and other tragic shootings “are contrary to lawful and responsible gun ownership.”

This is such hysterical nonsense. Should we stop raffling off cars because sometimes people use them to commit crimes? Of course not.

But this is for the children. If you’re not anti-gun after Sandy Hook, you’re against the children.

It really is fascinating, though, to watch as the anti-gun activists take their fight to every front available to them. They want to destroy gun culture in America. They know they can’t just ban guns, but they want to make getting a gun, owning a gun and using a gun so difficult and so expensive that Americans stop doing it.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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