Reporting Michael Rosenfield
MANCHESTER, NH (CBS) – More than 30 guns up will be up for raffle this coming May, one each day of the month. From pistols to revolvers to rifles, the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police is hosting the raffle to raise money for the state’s Police Cadet Training Academy.
Supporters of gun control are raising questions.
“I just don’t understand why they would support putting these kind of guns on the streets of New Hampshire,” said Cathie Whittenburg of the New England Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence. “If this was a raffle that was raffling off hunting rifles I would have no problem with it. I truly don’t understand why they’re choosing to raffle off assault weapons.”
But pro-gun advocates like Ralph Demicco from Riley’s Sport Shop in Hooksett, New Hampshire see no issue given that all state and federal laws must be honored when it comes to gun ownership and possession.
“I think there are some people who at the mention of the word ‘firearm’ immediately conjure up in their minds all sorts of negative connotations,” said Demicco.
Some say the raffle is also insensitive so close to the mass shooting in Newtown.
But a letter posted on the organization’s website says, in part, “New Hampshire Chiefs of Police feel the issues with these tragic shootings are ones that are contrary to lawful and responsible gun ownership. We believe in and support the Second Amendment, and encourage education in the area of firearms safety.”
The letter says the organization has worked with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office to make sure all regulations are followed.
A spokesperson for the organization did not return a phone call today.
All 1000 raffle tickets at $30 dollars each have already been sold.