Multnomah County’s Republican Party said Friday it will proceed with a fundraising raffle for a semi-automatic rifle.
The news comes as the national and local debate over gun control continues in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday that left 58 people dead and nearly 500 injured.
“We started the raffle early part of September before the shooting, we are obligated to complete said raffle,” wrote Frank Martin, the county party member managing the raffle.
The raffle prize is a Smith & Wesson M&P-15 with a red dot sight and a hardshell carrying case.
Though the weapon has similarities to several guns in the arsenal used by the Las Vegas shooter, Martin noted the Multnomah GOP rifle doesn’t have the same type of modifications that made the Nevada shooting the deadliest in modern American history.
“The event in Las Vegas, though terrible, was a crime committed by an individual with a multitude of weapons,” Martin said. “He also had accessory stocks added to them that changed the basic operation than a semi-automatic AR-15. The rifle we have as part of the raffle is a basic entry level AR-15.”
Martin said ticket sales since the Las Vegas attack have remained steady.
“Nor more or no less than before the incident,” he said, noting around 250 out of the 500 ticket limit have been sold so far.
Facebook pages for the county party and local Republicans have made no mention of the raffle since Sunday’s shooting. There have been posts of news stories memorializing the victims of the tragedy, and a shared post published on President Trump’s page marking his visit to the Vegas.
The Multnomah County GOP plans to draw the raffle winner Dec. 4.
Martin said whoever takes the rifle home will have to clear a background check before they pick up their prize.