Youth softball program in Dallas to raffle AR-15 rifle - KPTV - FOX 12

Youth softball program in Dallas to raffle AR-15 rifle

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The Lady Dragons Fastpitch Softball program is raffling off a controversial item in its annual fundraiser, an AR-15 rifle.

Less than two weeks after the deadly Parkland, Florida shooting when a gunman used an AR-15 to kill 17 people, the softball program's raffling choice has some community members concerned.

"I think there's other things they could raffle." Delores Lafountaine told FOX 12.

The softball league began selling raffle tickets for $25 apiece at the beginning of the year, before the Parkland, Florida shooting.

“I suppose my biggest fear would be whose hand that AR-15 ended up in." Dustin Miner said.

Board member and Dallas City Council President, Micky Garus, declined FOX 12’s request for an interview, but did confirm a private donor gave the organization an AR-15 back in November to help raise funds for its softball tournament.

The Dallas School District told FOX 12 that the Lady Dragons is not a district program, but a non-profit.

“I just feel that that's inappropriate for an athletic group." Lafountaine said.

Despite the shooting, event organizers did not choose to cancel the raffle.

In a public statement, they said in part, "while we sympathize with current events and the climate surrounding them, this is a legal, well-regulated raffle, with tickets being sold to willing and able purchasers."

However, not everyone in Dallas is against the raffle.

“Any weapon has never killed anybody by itself. It always takes a sick-minded person to do it." Edmund Bennett said. "Maybe they chose something that could be good for a raffle."

The organization says the money it raises will be used to provide softball equipment, offset registration fees for its players, and improve its facilities.

Board members also tell FOX 12 that the winner of the raffle will have to pass all necessary background checks to purchase the rifle.

All of the tickets for the AR-15 raffle have been sold, but a winner has yet to be announced.

The raffle raised $10,000 for the girl’s softball tournament.

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