Mississippi school booster club raffles guns as fundraiser

Jun 16, 2022, 3:51 PM | Updated: 4:15 pm

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A booster group for a high school on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast is raising money for a band trip with what a school safety group calls a “highly inappropriate” raffle of guns and ammunition.

The fundraiser — called “30 guns in 30 days” — is holding daily drawings for shotguns, handguns, rifles, ammunition, a bow and even a flamethrower. The $100 tickets have sold out and will help send the West Harrison High School band to Orlando, Florida, according to the fundraiser’s Facebook page. Drawings began June 6.

The fundraiser comes after several recent mass shootings across the U.S., including the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting that left 19 children and two adults dead.

“It’s highly inappropriate,” said Tori Bishop, a former Harrison County School District parent and an administrator for a Facebook group called Harrison County Parents for a Safer Return to School. The group has more than 1,500 members.

“In light of the recent school shooting, and the mass shootings we’ve been having going on in this country … it is in extremely poor taste. I am disappointed in the district,” Bishop said.

Harrison County Schools Superintendent Mitchell King said the fundraiser was not affiliated with the school.

The Facebook page for the raffle at first included a profile image of the West Harrison logo but has since been changed.

Janean Murphy holds the drawings live on Facebook, The Sun Herald reported.

Murphy, one of the raffle organizers, felt there was “nothing” to talk about and declined an interview after issuing a statement.

“It’s a raffle put together by group of likeminded people to raise money for the band kids to compete in Bands of America,” she said.

The raffle is organized by the band’s booster club and is sponsored by High Caliber Guns, a gun shop in Long Beach.

Gun raffles are not new to Mississippi and are frequently used as fundraisers for various initiatives across the state. And they are legal. West Harrison High band booster raffle winners are required to pass a background check conducted by High Caliber Guns.

“I understand that rifles are commonly raffled in this area but there are semi automatics and handguns on this list as well,” said former state Rep. Sonya Williams Barnes, who now works for the Southern Poverty Law Center. “After the tragedy in Uvalde, it seems to me that the organizers should have used better judgment by shutting the raffle down. Even if for no other reason but for respect to those 19 babies and 2 teachers whose lives were lost.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

In this courtroom sketch, R. Kelly briefly addresses Judge Ann Donnelly during his sentencing in fe...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: How will R. Kelly sentence impact other trials?

CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly could be in his 80s before the singer is free again, based on a 30-year prison term imposed this week by a New York federal judge for parlaying his fame to sexually abuse young fans, including some who were children. And if the 55-year-old loses at three related trials in […]
21 hours ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this 1942 Navy photo shows miners build...
Associated Press

Navy report: Multiple errors poisoned Pearl Harbor water

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — A Navy investigation released Thursday revealed that shoddy management and human error caused fuel to leak into Pearl Harbor’s tap water last year, poisoning thousands of people and forcing military families to evacuate their homes for hotels. The investigation is the first detailed account of how jet fuel from the […]
21 hours ago
Associated Press

Police: Shooting in Newark wounds 9; all expected to survive

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Nine people, including a teenager, were wounded Thursday evening in gunfire outside a neighborhood grocery shop in Newark, police said. All of the victims are expected to survive and police are searching for a vehicle believed to have been involved in the shooting, Acting Newark Public Safety Director Raul Malave told […]
21 hours ago
Roberto Marquez adds a cross to a makeshift memorial at the site where officials more than 50 peopl...
Associated Press

US official: Migrants who died cleared inland checkpoint

The tractor-trailer at the center of a disastrous human-smuggling attempt that left 53 people dead had passed through an inland U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint with migrants inside the sweltering rig earlier in its journey, a U.S. official said Thursday.
21 hours ago
FILE - UCLA guard Jaime Jaquez Jr., right, tries to get by Southern California forward Isaiah Moble...
Associated Press

Big Ten votes to add USC, UCLA as members starting in 2024

In a surprising and seismic shift in college athletics, the Big Ten voted Thursday to add Southern California and UCLA as conference members beginning in 2024. The expansion to 16 teams will happen after the Pac-12’s current media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire and make the Big Ten the first conference to stretch […]
21 hours ago
FILE—Plastic bottles of shampoo are displayed at Compton's Market in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, ...
Associated Press

California sets nation’s toughest plastics reduction rules

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Companies selling shampoo, food and other products wrapped in plastic have a decade to cut down on their use of the polluting material if they want their wares on California store shelves. Major legislation passed and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday aims to significantly reduce single-use plastic packaging in […]
21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Mississippi school booster club raffles guns as fundraiser