AR-15 raffle in NC town still a go despite recent mass shooting

An AR-15 rifle in a file photo.

SOUTHPORT, N.C. (WECT) – For the first time, Southport’s Auxiliary Firemen’s Association is holding a fundraising raffle ahead of the annual Firefighter’s Freedom Competition, but one of the items up for grabs may surprise you – a Palmetto AR-15.

UPDATE: NC fire department decides to remove AR-15 and other firearms from raffle

AR-15’s, along with other assault-style weapons, have become the topic of conversation across the country after the recent mass shooting in Orlando.

“We started this months ago,” said Southport Fire Chief Charles Drew. “We haven’t had any real objections.”

A total of 1,200 tickets have been printed for the raffle, and they will be sold for $10 each.

Other prizes, include a Savage Arms rifle, a Mossberg shotgun, a Yeti cooler and a 60″ TV.

“I want to stress that the money raised will be used to benefit the Southport Fireman’s Fund,” said Drew. “That money will help pay for volunteer services, retirement tokens and other items not funded through the fire department’s budget.”

The Southport Fire Department is currently made up of 45 volunteers.

Drew said they plan to take the necessary steps to ensure the winners are legally fit to take the prize home.

“All federal and state gun laws are applicable to the winner of the raffle,” Drew said. “They will have a full background check and we’re going through a certified and registered gun club.”

UPDATE: NC fire department decides to remove AR-15 and other firearms from raffle

For more information, contact the Southport Fire Department.

AR-15s often come into the spotlight after shootings. Here are some investigations, where a shooter reportedly used an AR-15:

Dec. 2, 2015 — The AR-15 was one of the weapons Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik used to kill 14 people and wound 22 more in an attack on the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

Oct. 1, 2015 — Christopher Harper Mercer  fatally shot an assistant professor and eight students in a classroom at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. He was armed with an AR-15 and other weapons.

June 7, 2013 — John Zawahri  was armed with an AR-15 when he went on a rampage at the Santa Monica Community College outside of Los Angeles. He killed five people and wounded four before he was killed in a shootout with cops.

Dec. 14, 2012 — Adam Lanza used an AR-15 purchased by his mother to murder 20 first graders and six staffers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. He used a handgun to kill himself as the cops were closing in.

July 20, 2012 — The AR-15 was part of James Holmes’  arsenal when he opened fire during the midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado.

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