Little league raffles off AR-15 rifle to raise money

Dylan Stableford
The Lookout

A youth baseball league in Illinois is raffling off an AR-15 military-style assault weapon to raise money for its kids.

The Atwood-Hammond group partnered with the local armory for the raffle, which launched on Tuesday. "It has been going gangbusters," Charidy Butcher, co-owner of the Atwood Armory, told “My phone has been ringing nonstop since 4:30 this morning. It’s just been crazy."

Butcher said she's received calls from people as far away as Washington state wanting to enter the June 29 drawing. A ticket costs $20.

"It’s for a good cause, for the kids, and we’re just trying to raise as much money as we can," she said. "Their fundraiser last year only raised $10.”

The winner of the rifle—a Rock River Arms Tactical Operator AR-15—will have to go through a standard background check, Butcher added. The rifle is similar to the one used in the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, Conn., where 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

According to Atwood-Hammond commissioner Steven McClain, the league is in desperate need of new equipment. "When you don't have enough stuff to even practice with, it's hard to run a team," McClain told WAND-TV.

It's not the first gun fundraiser for the Atwood Armory. Earlier this month, the shop raised more than $7,000 for a cancer charity with a similar raffle.