Gun Raffle Bill Is Misguided And Harmful

To The Reader’s Forum:

Having read this mornings P-J article on the new proposed law for New York state concerning gun raffles, I feel the need to write this.

Countless clubs and associations use raffles to augment their budgets. Dues and fees just don’t create the capital to run a club. As a gun owner and shooting sport enthusiast this really hits home with me. I have been a member of the Jamestown Rifle Club for better than 40 years. I was treasurer for 25 years. I think I have a pretty good handle on the running of a small self-sufficient club. We keep our dues structure low so we can encourage people to join the club and enjoy the shooting sports. We augment our budget with our annual deer shoot and the money we make from teaching pistol classes (our certified instructors are not paid — I know this because I also have been doing this for 20-some years. We donate our time for the good of our sport and our club.

We also have an annual gun raffle in conjunction with some other local clubs. Depending on how well the raffle goes this may give us as much as 15 to 25 percent of our working budget for the year. I am going low on this estimate as I am doing this math in my head. You can see how important these raffles are to us. Now we see another gun law that will do nothing to protect people, only hurt clubs, fire companies, etc.

This law is very misleading. If you win a gun in a raffle they don’t just hand you a gun. You have to go through a gun dealer and go through the same verification and background checks you would if you were to buy the gun in a gun store. Seems like the folks in New York City don’t know this or don’t want their constituents to know this.

I feel this is nothing more than a useless gun law that will accomplish nothing except put a further burden on legal gun owners and clubs and associations that desperately need these raffles.

Dan Wendt