Weapon raffle causes controversy in Indiana

PORTAGE, Ind. — A Fraternal Order of Police lodge in Portage, Indiana is standing by its decision to raffle off an assault weapon for a charity fundraiser even though many are calling it irresponsible and distasteful.

Portage Mayor John Cannon and Portage police said the raffle is ok, but a lot of people said it’s crazy and the timing is terrible.

“Give away a car, not a gun," Lori May, Portage resident, said.

Less than two weeks after 31 people were killed in two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the raffle for charity was announced.

The top prize of the raffle is an AR-15. The second prize is a 9mm handgun. The third prize a knife.

“The NWI region is a big hunter and fisher area, so there’s a ton of guns out there," Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said. "I don’t think raffling off one is that great of a concern.”

While the FOP declined to speak, they provided a statement:

“We certainly sympathize with the victims and the families harmed by these events but we are of the belief that the blame for such crimes lie with the person and not the weapon. In years past we have conducted similar raffles and offered this same prize and this is the first time that decision has ever been questioned.”

The raffle will happen November 7. A Facebook post advertising the event said, “Who wants a gun or a knife for as little as $5? Everybody, that's who."

However, not everybody in Portage does.

“I mean people have proven super irresponsible with guns," Adam Young, Portage resident, said. "I don’t think we need to be handing out guns and being like 'hey, yeah let's do a raffle for stuff like that.'"

The FOP said whoever wins the guns will have to have a background check.

FOP Lodge #145 Press Release Auguat 2019 by WGN Web Desk on Scribd

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