An Oregon youth softball program has decided to move forward with plans to raffle off an AR-15-style assault weapon as part of its fundraiser.
The Statesman Journal reported Monday that Dallas City residents have called the raffle tone-deaf in wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. A statement from the Lady Dragon's Fastpitch softball team notes the raffle began on Jan. 30, before the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"Honestly it disgusts me," said William Johnson, a local resident. "An AR-15, that is meant to kill someone. That should not be in a civilian's hands."
The fast-pitch softball program is hosting the fundraiser for equipment, field improvements and to help ensure registration fees remain low for families. The program has teams for girls ages 10-and-under through 16-and-under.
Dallas City Council President Micky Garus, one of the softball program's board members, said the program sympathizes with current events, but the fundraiser "is a legal, well-regulated raffle, with tickets being sold to willing and able purchasers."
Garus added that the winner of the raffle will have to pass all necessary background checks before receiving the firearm, the same as would be required of them if they were to purchase the rifle.
Michelle Johnstone, superintendent of the Dallas School District, said the program is not affiliated with the district.