SPOKANE, Wash. – In the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a Post Falls Christian school is including a controversial item in an upcoming raffle.
According to a Jan. 30 post from the Classical Christian Academy’s Royal Raffle and Benefit Ball Facebook page, the school will auction an AR-15 rifle valued at $1800 on Mar. 10.
The rifle is the same one used in the Feb. 13 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Similar rifles have been used in a string of recent shootings, including the shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people.
The Classical Christian Academy sent KREM 2 a press release Wednesday afternoon that explained why they chose to keep the rifle in the raffle.
"Classical Christian Academy (CCA) takes seriously all appropriate comments and perspectives. Since the article by the Spokesman Review this morning, we have received many supportive calls, as well as a few critical comments.
No rational person likes to hear about an event like the shooting in Parkland, Florida. We were all grieved at the news of this terrible situation..."
"We live in a state and a nation where the right to protect ourselves and our families is protected by the second amendment. There are approximately 300 million guns owned by responsible citizens in the United States. We understand that honest people of good will can disagree, and still have the same goal."
A percentage of the raffle’s proceeds will benefit the academy’s 2018 capital campaign focused on athletes and fine arts, according to the school’s website.
The winner will receive all of the gun’s premium parts, a $450 precision Noveske Barrel, NGA billet receivers and buffer tube, according to the post. Tickets are $50.
In the statement, the Classical Christian Academy said all federal, state, and local laws will be followed with the transfer of firearm ownership, by a licensed firearm dealer.
The school said They have raffled off many different items over the past 12 years as fundraisers, and the rifle this year is one of four prizes.
"All four raffle items have been well received by the supporters of our school," school officials said in a statement.
Similar controversy ensued over a raffle in Stevens County this week. On Tuesday, Feb. 20, Eastern Washington GOP group the Stevens County Republicans changed its fundraising plans after announcing the inclusion of an AR-15 in its rifle.
The group told KREM 2 on Tuesday they had changed their plans to take into consideration the recent Florida shooting.