AR-15 rifle raffle worries gun safety advocates

by: Sophia Choi Updated:


ATLANTA - It's a controversial raffle involving a controversial rifle. The Georgia Gun Owners Group is giving you the chance to win two AR-15 rifles at upcoming gun shows. But as Channel 2's Sophia Choi reports, some fear those guns could end up in the wrong hands

The AR-15 is one of the most controversial guns you can buy. It’s a high powered weapon used for hunting, protection and sometimes crimes.

“A lot of people use it for sporting reasons; unfortunately some people use it for bad things too,” said Candler Road Pawn Shop employee Mike Phillips.

The gun advocacy group called Georgia Gun Owners is raffling off two of them at upcoming gun shows. In an email sent to Channel 2 Action News, Executive Director Patrick Parsons said, "We want more AR-15’s in the hands of Georgia gun owners who want nothing more than to protect their life, liberty and property from the actions of criminals and thugs."

But some fear it's those criminals and thugs who will end up with the raffled rifles.

“Too much violence already out here, and it gets into the wrong hands and no telling what would happen," said Atlanta resident Beverly Marks.

Dealers we spoke with said the winners will likely have to fill out an application and get a criminal background check before a rifle is handed over. Organizers said they will do a background check at a gun store. But some worry that if the rifle did not come from a federally licensed dealer, that may not be the case.

“Forty percent of all firearms sales transactions, which are legal under federal law, are conducted without background checks," said Alice Johnson with Georgians for Gun Safety.

Johnson said high-capacity weapons like the AR-15 are especially troubling.

"We're talking about high capacity, difficult-to-control firearms that can kill people, masses of people in a very short period of time,” Johnson said.

Gun dealers said the AR-15 gets a bad rap.

"It gets a bad rap, because of the way it looks," Phillips said.

Georgia Gun Owners will sign up entrants for the gun giveaway until Oct. 30.

Channel 2 Action News

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