Buy a ticket, get an AR-15: Missouri legislator’s rifle raffle draws criticism in KC area
By Katie Moore – The Topeka Capital-Journal
A state representative running for reelection in Missouri is raffling off an AR-15 as part of his fundraising efforts.
Elected in 2018, Rep. Jeff Coleman is a Republican representing Grain Valley in Jackson County. His Sept. 30 fundraiser is billed as Coleman’s BBQ, Tournament & Raffle.
A campaign email advertising the event said a raffle ticket for the rifle costs $10 or five for $40. The fundraiser will also include a barbecue dinner, drinks and cornhole, according to the email sent Wednesday to about 100 people.
Coleman faces Democrat Janice Brill in the Nov. 8 election.
“Given what’s been happening in our country, it seems a little inappropriate,” Brill said of the raffle.
She added that she thinks there should be a clear distinction between owning guns for personal protection or hunting and firearms like AR-15s.
Coleman did not respond to requests for comment.
One of the recipients of the Sept. 7 email was Blue Springs Councilman Galen Ericson, who replied, “No f..in way! A gun raffle???”
In a phone interview Thursday, Ericson said the language in his response was irresponsible, but he felt frustrated when he saw the email. He said a gun raffle “in a political arena, is wrong. I think it’s divisive.”
Ericson, elected to the council in 2019, said he considers Coleman a friend and that they had a positive conversation earlier Thursday in response to the fundraising email. But, Ericson said, he will not attend the event.
Jackson County has suffered more than 135 homicides so far this year. The majority have been gun homicides. A study earlier this year found Missouri has the fourth highest gun death rate in the nation. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 470 mass shootings so far this year in the U.S.
© 2022 The Kansas City Star Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Source: American Military News