Many local volunteer organizations, like Point Pleasant and Honeoye Falls fire departments and local sportsman clubs, have been raising money through gun raffles for awhile. But they may not be able to anymore if a bill to ban them passes.
In January, Democrats in the New York State Assembly proposed a total ban on gun raffles. The bill says firearm-related violence is a public health and safety problem and weapons should not be given away in games of chance.
New York State Assemblyman, Brian Manktelow, does not think the bill will solve the problem of public safety.
“A bad person that wants to harm you? They don’t care about a gun raffle. They’re gonna go get a gun, if they can’t get it here they’ll get it from another state or someplace and that’s really what it’s about,” Manktelow said.
The bill also states that often times gun raffles are open to anyone- regardless of age. Manktelow said kids must be 18 years old or older to enter to win a gun and you still have to pass a background check before even receiving your prize.
“So it’s not like you’re just handing the gun off. So you go through the same process as if I went to a gun dealer and bought that same gun from a gun dealer,” Manktelow said.
The assemblyman also said the profit fire departments bring in from these raffles ended up being around 25 or 26 thousand dollars, which comes out to about 16 percent of their budget. He said this could really hurt nonprofit organizations if it does pass.
The bill is currently only in the assembly- no one from the senate side has sponsored it yet.
The full justification of the bill states:
Currently in New York State it is legal to raffle off a firearm in agame of chance. Many times games such as these are open to all individuals regardless of age. Firearms should not be raffled off in this manner. Firearm related violence is a significant public health and safety problem and weapons should not be given away in games of chance.
To read the full bill, click here.