Kenosha County GOP raffling off AR-15

NOW: Kenosha County GOP raffling off AR-15

KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A fundraising raffle in Kenosha County is getting a lot of attention. The Kenosha County GOP is raffling off an AR-15 rifle.

Tickets are $10 apiece or 3 for $20, and they're selling very quickly.

The Kenosha County GOP has raffled off an AR-15 for the past six years or so. And the organization insists it's safe: the winner will have to pass a background check.

Mark Nordigian, a Kenosha County Board Supervisor, said sales are "Incredible. It really has been. Both the AR-15 raffle and the ammo raffle."

A steady stream of entrants proved the point at the county fair Friday night. Hundreds of people entered to win. The money raised will help local candidates.

Nordigian said, "There's a lot of costs the higher you go in the election cycle, obviously. And the more it costs every time you get to the next round."

Eric Lehmann of Bristol bought three tickets. He said, "I believe it's our right, and at the very least you can use it for fun."

Lehmann already has an AR-15 at home that he uses for target shooting. He said, "You can use it for anything you desire. But it's important to be able to keep your loved ones safe."

Christian Bernhardt bought three tickets for each raffle. He said, "I belong to a rifle range, so I do a lot of practice shooting."

Christian's feeling lucky because he just won a handgun at his rifle range. Which means he also just went through the safety procedures.

Bernhardt said, "You still go through the background check, there's no loophole or anything like that."

But not everyone thinks it's a good idea.

James Simmons is the Democratic candidate for Kenosha County Sheriff. He said, "Well, I wouldn't do it."

The AR-15 in the raffle was donated by Simmons' opponent. He believes in the second amendment and owns guns himself, but said, "I don't consider myself in any way, form, shape, or fashion a gun store. So I would not promote me giving guns out to people by the form of any kind of raffling."

The AR-15 model that's being raffled off is valued at about $1,000. The winner will be drawn not at the fair but later this year.

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