Rifle raffle ruffling feathers at Wilson County school

August 29, 2013 3:55:00 PM PDT
A raffle to help raise money for a Wilson County school is catching heat because of the grand prize.

Lucama Elementary is raffling off a rifle at Fun Fest, their school fundraiser set for September. The school's parent teacher organization brought the idea to the school principal after conservation organization Delta Waterfowl Foundation agreed to donate the gun.

"The principal went to the superintendent since it was an unusual request, and it was approved just as long as the parameters were met that the gun wouldn't be on campus and students couldn't buy or sell the tickets," said Amber Whitley of Wilson County Schools.

Parents and students are only allowed to sell tickets for the cash raffle taking place at the fundraiser. Delta Waterfowl is in charge of selling tickets for the rifle.

Still, the donated CVA Optima Muzzleloader is ruffling some parents' feathers.

"It's a gun. A gun is a gun," said parent Sonya Bullock. "If I would have known, I wouldn't be selling tickets for my girls."

Bullock and others disagree with the message it sends in light of recent school shootings.

"With everything that's been going on, it does seem a little inappropriate," Tim Langley said.

But others support the raffle and the money it could bring in for an area where many adults hunt. Many say it's a prize that fits their lifestyle.

"I still don't think it's a big deal. The kids need money, funds have been cut. When they're coming to the parents and grandparents for money, some of them don't have it because they're only working for minimum wage and its tough," said grandparent Carol Pate.

The school system is standing by its decision to allow the raffle.

"We understand it's an unusual prize. We've got some concerned parents but there are also parents who are in support of it. It's important to remember this is a community that clearly understands the distinction between responsible gun ownership and gun violence," Whitley said.

Delta Waterfowl said they originally purchased 25 tickets for the raffle hoping to raise a couple hundred dollars. As of Thursday, they have sold 300 tickets at $5 each.

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