See the update at the end of this post where fallen cop foundation and Orange County deputy union officials agree raffling off semiautomatic weapons is no big whoop.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 21, 6:39 A.M.: Cop killers can be people or they can be fictional characters in songs or they can be an AR-15 rifle and Beretta 92FS pistol, which is weird because Orange County sheriff's deputies have been helping raffle those off as prizes (not the people or song characters but the semiautomatic rifle and handgun; please keep up!)
Orange County Register investigative reporter Teri Sforza just made that startling disclosure, pointing out the raffle is perfectly legal for a police charity but, "Whether it's entirely appropriate ... may be another story."
The Orange County deputy sheriffs association--ye olde cops union to you Bolsheviks--was among several that sold $5 raffle tickets for the Santa Ana-based California Fraternal Order of Police Foundation, Sforza reports.
First prize: the AR-15.
Second prize: the Beretta.
Third prize: We assume steak knives. (Coffee's for closers only!)
Founded in 2010, the foundation aims to fund a memorial for slain peace officers and assist families of fallen or seriously injured cops.
We may have come up with the definition of "poetic injustice" if a memorialized officer is gunned down by a raffle prize.
UPDATE, AUG. 21, 10:14 A.M.: The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS) wants you to know that two members of law enforcement won the raffles for the AR-15 rifle and Beretta 92FS pistol.
So there you go. They are safely out of the hands of the public and in the hands of folks who never misuse weapons.
Meanwhile, here are statements from the presidents of the deputy union and cop foundation.
Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs: "Gun raffles are not unusual among law enforcement circles and are frequently used by hunting organizations, athletics boosters and other community associations across the country as an effective method of fundraising. One hundred percent of the proceeds of the California FOP Foundation raffle will help fund emergency aid to law enforcement officers and their families in a time of need.
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"The rifle and handgun offered as prizes are legal for any citizen to purchase and possess as long as they fulfill the requirements to purchase them under California law. As stated on the raffle flier, winners must pass the California State Background check in order to collect a gun prize."
Roger Mayberry, president, State Lodge, CA FOP: "The raffle raised more than $6,000 to help us provide for the families of our fallen law enforcement officers and allow us to assist our officers and their loved ones during other times of crisis.
"The organizers of the raffle decided to offer these legal weapons as prizes for a raffle targeting a law enforcement audience in an effort to help their fellow officers. The guns offered as prizes in this raffle are legal for any California resident to own as long as they pass the required background check."