Republicans in North Carolina county to raffle guns, ammo

Posted at 11:19 AM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 11:19:12-04

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Republicans in a North Carolina county are planning a 30-day raffle of guns and ammunition, a move that's drawing criticism in light of recent mass shootings across the U.S.

The Forsyth County Republican Party will offer semiautomatic weapons, among other guns, in the raffle, the Winston-Salem Journal reported. Organizer Vernon Robinson said each raffle ticket will bear a three-digit number the purchaser can check each day against one of the games in the North Carolina Education Lottery from Sept. 9 through Oct. 8 to determine the winner.

"The biggest problem with raffles is that the buyers can't be sure the folks who are conducting it are playing it straight with the numbers," Robinson said. "The way we solve that problem is to use the N.C. Education Lottery's daily Pick 3 numbers."

A lottery spokesman said the agency does not know of any law that prevents other groups from using publicly-released drawing numbers to decide their own raffles.

Robinson said he hopes the fundraiser will net the party some $9,000 to $10,000 to "beat Democrats."

"People like gun raffles and it is a great way to raise money," Robinson said. "The only people who are upset about gun raffles are people who are hostile to guns and gun owners."

Kevin Farmer, chairman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party, said the move was "disappointing, but given the extremist nature of the Republican Party, not at all surprising."

D.D. Adams, a Democratic and member of the Winston-Salem City Council, called the raffle "a poor decision" meant by the GOP to "fire up their base."

The GOP will proceed with the raffle if it sells 600 or more tickets by Aug. 14, and will otherwise postpone it until Oct. 7. If all 1,000 tickets sell, someone would be guaranteed to win a pistol, rifle or ammunition on each day during the 30-day stretch.

Recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York; Uvalde, Texas; and Highland Park, Illinois; renewed the national debate about gun control. Congress passed new gun control legislation after the Uvalde school shootings.