Lake County Republicans are holding a fundraiser and raffle Friday night. The prizes at the event?
Depending on how much you donate you could win a semi-automatic rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun.
The timing of this fundraiser — less than two weeks after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history occurred in Las Vegas — has critics saying the fundraiser and raffle sends the wrong message.
A $70 dollar dinner ticket will put you in the raffle to possible win a rifle, those who contribute $1,500 dollars might take home a 9 mm handgun. There are dozens of guns that will be prizes. The raffle is legal, licensed by the Illinois State Board of Elections.
“If you follow all of the proper requirements to transfer the title, it’s legal to do so,” Ken Menzel, general counsel to the Illinois State Board of Elections said. “Political committees have done gun raffles in the past, it’s probably more common in the areas of the state where hunting is bigger.”
A portion of the GOP dinner will be donated to the Las Vegas law enforcement assistance fund. Still, democrats running for governor call it tone deaf.
“To advertise it on Facebook, to promote it, to rally their people to a political cause, to run on the issue of violence, promoting that in our community, I think is dead wrong,” said gubernatorial candidate Chris Kennedy.
JB Pritzker, also running for governor, also took issue with the raffle.
“We have shootings on the streets of Chicago every single day, and here they’re raffling off guns–ridiculous,” he said.
Gov. Bruce Rauner would not comment on the fundraiser.
The Illinois Republican party says it supports the 2nd amendment.
It’s up to the Lake County GOP to make sure those who win the guns have a valid state firearms card.
“Everything that would be needed to do to lawfully transfer a gun would have to be done by the group running the raffle,” Menzel said.
Peaceful Communities, a group planning a protest outside the fundraiser, called the event “grotesquely insensitive.”