Georgetown HS group raffles guns as fundraiser

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on June 11, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 11 at 5:41 PM

GEORGETOWN, Texas -- The Georgetown High School football boosters are selling $100 tickets for a year. They're raffling off a different gun every week. While some say this will bring in more than any car wash or bake sale ever could, others say the gun raffle is a conflict of interest.

The weekly gun raffle could raise around $25,000.

"That's a huge goal. That's a huge amount of money for the football team," said parent Paula Trietsch Chaney.

Chaney has two children in Georgetown schools and is a frequent substitute teacher at Georgetown High School.

She says no matter how much money they make, this year's fundraiser is not appropriate.

"We have a zero tolerance policy in our schools against any type of weapon. Our students get in trouble for bringing the smallest of pen knives to school," she said. "And yet, here we are with the football boosters raffling off a gun a week for a year, several of which are high-powered assault rifles that are not even appropriate for routine hunting."

The winners won't actually get a gun. Instead, they'll get a voucher to local gun store Guns Plus where they will be subject to a background check.

"They don't have to buy tickets if they don't like guns," said Tony Dwyer, a lifetime NRA member. "I think it's a good idea. I don't see anything wrong with it. It's a good way to raise money."

Georgetown ISD says they OK'd the fundraiser as long as it follows certain parameters. No students are allowed to buy or sell raffle tickets, and no guns are allowed on school property or at a school-related event.

"I believe there is potential benefit to our students through this fundraiser, and although this particular format would not have been my personal choice, I do not believe it is illegal nor immoral, and therefore I will watch with interest how the community responds to this activity," said school board president Scott Alarcon in a written statement.

Ticket buyers also had a chance to win an AR-15, the same type of gun used in the Sandy Hook shooting, but that item has since been taken off of the club's flier.

"Initially it does sound like a conflict of interest, especially with everything that's happened in the past year," said Jamie Shields, who lives in Georgetown.

"I'm not anti-gun. I am pro gun safety. I am pro community safety," said Chaney.

Chaney says she is a gun owner herself, but this isn't about Second Amendment rights.

"I was absolutely stunned that anyone in this day and age would think that this was an appropriate idea for a fundraiser," she explained.

Guns Plus says auctions like these are common and have proven successful in the past. The booster club got the idea from nearby Thorndale ISD.

KVUE left several messages with the football booster club president, but as of news time June 11, the calls have not been returned.

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