A local sheriff's group is planning a charity raffle in which it will auction off an AR-15 rifle similar to the one used in last year's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The raffle by Chester County law enforcement has been met by criticism.
“I can understand that there may be people who are concerned,” Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny'' Welsh told the Daily Local News. “But you need to understand two things: This is a legal weapon, and the individual (who wins it) has to undergo a background check.”
Welsh says the raffle is being organized by the Chester County Deputy Sheriffs Association. Prizes include $100 cash, a Savage .22-caliber bolt-action rifle and the Colt AR-15 rifle, all of which were donated.
“I just think the whole thing is irresponsible, and in light of everything that has been happening recently I find it appalling,” Stephanie Markstein of West Chester told the paper.
The raffle will be held at the Downingtown Country Club on May 13. Tickets are $20 and proceeds will benefit the sheriff's department's dog unit programs.