A third grade baseball team at an elementary school in Neosho, Mo. has been advertising an AR-15 as a prize for a raffle benefiting their team. Ticket sales continued after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. that killed dozens of students and injured at least 14 with the same type of weapon. The coach stated that he won’t force any of the children to sell tickets if they or their parents feel uncomfortable doing so.
The weapon was donated by a team member’s father who co-founded Black Rain Ordnance Inc., a gun manufacturing company.
“We were approached by a local Neosho youth traveling baseball team to donate a product that we manufacture here in our local gun friendly community of Neosho, Mo. The winner of these donations must abide by all federal, state and local regulations that are set in place for taking ownership of a firearm,” announced the company.
Levi Petterson, the baseball team’s coach, has received severe criticism on Facebook for selling the gun. Despite this, he decided to continue with the raffle to “turn it into a positive thing.”
“Gun raffles have been going on for years. Evil has and will always exist,” Petterson said.
The school principal made a Facebook post after the shooting encouraging people to buy raffle tickets to support the baseball team. She did not return any calls or text messages from critics after her announcement.
The raffle giveaway is supposed to take place March 17, 2018. The winner will have to undergo a background check before receiving the gun.
Photo courtesy of WTUG 92.9 FM.