A Chicago-area gun store has canceled its plans to raffle an AR-15, similar to the gun that Omar Mateen used to massacre 49 people in Orlando, to raise money for the victims of the Orlando attack.
Second Amendment Sports in McHenry, Illinois announced last week that it was looking for a way to honor the victims “in our own way.”
On Friday, the gun store wrote on its Facebook page that they were “in awe” of the support they had received so far. They planned to sell $5 tickets, and the winner would win a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic AR-15.
“We have already raised such a large sum of money and only expect to continue to through July,” the store posted on Facebook.
But by Saturday, the owners of the store told the Chicago Tribune that they had canceled it because state law only allows nonprofits to hold raffles.
All mentions of the raffle were off the website by Sunday.
Bert Irslinger Jr., who owns the store with his father, said they had received death threats via social media and by phone. But Irslinger told the Tribune that he is still taking donations for victims of the Orlando shooting. “We believe this is a good case,” Irslinger said.
“I applaud them for wanting to do good,” said Jason Mendes-McAllister, of Chicago, whose friend Edward Sotomayor Jr., to the Tribune. “But what they’re utilizing to raise funds is insensitive to those trying to recover or who have lost people. You’re rubbing salt in other people’s wounds.”