Youth baseball team's AR-15 raffle draws criticism and support

Youth baseball team's AR-15 raffle draws criticism and support


By Kate Nematollahi

Director, NAYS Education Programs

Raising funds to offset the costs of sports participation can be a hair-pulling experience. Selling candy bars door-to-door is time-consuming for families and often yields dismal returns. Teams are always trying to find creative fundraising methods that bring in the most money for minimal effort. This has led some organizations to hold raffles for valuable items – including guns – as they can be successful fundraisers in their communities.

A recent story in The Kansas City Star about a gun raffle has been getting quite a bit of attention the past few days. A youth baseball team is raffling off an AR-15 as a fundraiser. Raffle tickets for the “Black Rain Gun” are controversial, especially in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shootings, in which the same model gun was used.

NAYS posed the question to our Facebook followers, “Is it appropriate for a youth sports team to raffle off a weapon for a fundraiser?” Off the bat comments came in exclaiming “No!” “This is wrong!” and “Is this a joke?”

Steadily, others chimed in supporting the fundraiser saying, “Very popular in Oklahoma. Our team has held one before. It was one of our most successful fundraisers.” One commenter added, “Let’s teach our kids how to be responsible with guns, not to fear them.”

The range of sentiments shows how much our youth sports organizations and their communities vary across the country. It seems that local traditions, values, cultures and beliefs dictate what is considered appropriate for each community youth sports organization.  

Share your opinion about this fundraiser here: While you are there, make sure you Like and Follow our Facebook page to join future discussions.

Fundraising Baseball

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