With gun control on the forefront of many American’s minds, a high school wrestling team in Georgia is feeling a lot of blowback for having a handgun be part of a team fundraiser.
The Pickens Dragons Wrestling squad has received a lot of attention since the team’s booster club began selling raffle tickets in support of their run at a state championship.
The club is giving away a Glock 43, which was donated to the club by a local gun and pawn shop, and retails for $400 US.
Single tickets cost $5 US, or three for $10 US.
Koby Milner, a member of the wrestling squad, who captured a state title last year, posted his support for the fundraiser.
Others residents also believe it’s an innocent way to make some money.
“It’s basically just something they’re coming up with to get a little money. I’m sure it’s not nothing towards the weapons or anything,” Frank Martin told local news station WSB-TV.
The team is also getting support from outside the state. One person from Ohio even posted on the Pickens Dragons Wrestling team’s Facebook page looking to purchase a raffle ticket, but was told tickets were sold out.
Diane Roper, a mother of a student who attends the school, believes the raffle is a bad idea.
“I think they should raffle off something different because it does send a bad message to our students,” Roper told WSB-TV.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for a high school to be selling chances for a gun,” Pickens County resident Sharon Mualkey said.
School district won’t stop raffle
According to school district authorities, the team and its booster club are not doing anything that goes against its policies
“The Pickens Wrestling Raffle Fundraiser referenced on the attached ticket is a fundraiser being conducted by the booster club associated with the Pickens County High School’s Wrestling Team,” the school district said in a release.
“The Pickens County School District is not conducting this fundraiser, and the District has no supervisory role, control, or authority with regards to the booster club.”
The raffle is scheduled to be held March 14.
The winner must 21 years old, and will be required to pass federal and state required background checks before claiming the 9 mm handgun.