Gun Shop Raffles AR-15 to Raise Money for Orlando Shooting Victims

Shop owners "wanted to do something for the loss of lives"

A gun shop near Chicago is raffling off an AR-15 to benefit victims of the mass shooting that took place earlier this month in Orlando. Credit: Ted Soqui/Corbis/Getty Images

A gun store outside of Chicago has set up a raffle to raise money for victims of the recent mass shooting in Orlando, The Chicago Tribune reports. The prize? An AR-15 rifle, much like the one that Omar Mateen used to kill 49 people at the Pulse nightclub earlier this month.

Though some gun control activists have called this an insensitive response to a tragic event, the owners of Second Amendment Sports in McHenry insist their efforts are sincere. "We wanted to do something for the loss of lives and injuries that happened to people in Orlando," Bert Irslinger Jr. explained to The Chicago Tribune.

"I understand that there are different opinions out there," added marketing director Vic Santi. "We don't look at this as a gun issue. We look at this as a terrorism issue."

Others found the nature of the raffle insulting. "I'm glad people are trying to raise money," said Colleen Daley, executive director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence in Chicago. "I just don't think it's the most appropriate way to do that. These guns are weapons of war, meant to kill large numbers of people in a short time, which is what happened in Orlando. I find it very distasteful and offensive."

Kathleen Larimer, whose son John was killed in the mass shooting that took place in 2012 in Aurora, CO, suggested that the raffle makes light of a grave situation. "Guns are not toys," she noted. "They should be taken seriously. I'm not saying they should be illegal, but raffling off a gun is not taking its killing power seriously."

The raffle costs $5 to enter, and the winner will be announced on July 31st. According to Irslinger Jr., the recipient of the rifle has to own or obtain a firearm owner's identification card, fill out a federal form and wait 24 hours before the weapon is legally in his or her possession.

All money from the raffle will go to OneOrlando Fund. In addition to the proceeds raised from raffle tickets, Second Amendment Sports plans to contribute $2,000 to the fund.