Firearms raffle switched to gift certificates at Kent Fire Dept.Posted: Updated:
A Putnam County fire department has decided not to offer a semi-automatic rifle as a raffle in light of the Florida school shooting last week.
The fundraiser had already been planned for two months and hundreds of tickets were sold. After an outcry from the community, the Kent Volunteer Fire Department decided not to raffle firearms as part of its summer fundraiser.
The department is made up of roughly 30 volunteers, and prior fundraisers like pancake breakfasts had poor showings.
News 12 was told that organizers planned to raffle firearms in June -- an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a 20-gauge slug gun for first and second prize, respectively -- because many in the community are avid hunters and the prize may have a been a draw.
In light of last week's school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the fundraiser will now offer gift certificates to purchase a prize of the winner's choice.
The money raised would go toward office supplies or water and food after an emergency call.