An Illinois Little League is raffling off an AR-15 military-style assault rifle
, similar to the one used in the December Sandy Hook school shooting, to raise money for its kids.
The Atwood-Hammond league has partnered with the Atwood Armory in central Illinois to raise money for new equipment.
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"When you don't have enough stuff to even practice with, it's hard to run a team," Atwood-Hammond Little League Commissioner Steven McClain told Illinois NBC affiliate WAND-TV.
The raffle kicked off
Tuesday, and Atwood Armory co-owner Charidy Butcher said the calls are pouring in.
"It has been going gangbusters, my phone has been ringing nonstop since 4:30 this morning." Butcher told The Raw Story Tuesday. "It's just been crazy. The amount of interest so far has just been astronomical. It's for a good cause for the kids and we're just trying to raise as much money as we can. Their fundraiser last year only raised $10."
Butcher said whoever wins the raffle will have to go through a standard background check. If an out-of-state person wins, the gun will be shipped to a dealer with a federal firearms license and the background check will be processed there.
"I've already gotten calls this morning from Pennsylvania, I've gotten calls from Washington state, I've gotten calls from Texas, I've gotten calls from Mississippi already wanting to know how they can buy tickets," Butcher said. "So overall, the response has been tremendous."
The armory is getting some negative feedback too, as people have questioned the political correctness of raffling off a weapon like the one Adam Lanza used to kill 20 children and six adults in the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
"You know, they're a piece of metal basically," Butcher told WAND-TV. "They're not going to do the harm unless you've got the person holding them."
The armory once raised $7,000 for a local cancer charity with a similar gun raffle, Butcher said.
The drawing is scheduled for June 29. Tickets are $20.
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