A Missouri youth baseball team is moving forward with a raffle of an AR-15 rifle despite criticism after a similar gun was used to kill 17 students during the school shooting at Parkland, Florida.
Levi Patterson, the coach of the third-grade team in Neosho, MO, told The Kansas City Star that the raffle had been in motion before the shooting in Parkland. Patterson says that his heart goes out to the shooting victims but said that the gun raffles have been going on for years.
Patterson also indicated that none of the children on the team would be forced to sell raffle tickets. The players range in age from 7 to 9 years old.
The AR-15 was offered by a father of one of the players. The father co-founded Black Rain Ordnance Inc., a weapons purveyor in Neosho.
According to The Kansas City Star, the winner of the raffle must pass a background check.
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