“We’re honoring gun owners and hunters,” Rev. John Koletas, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Troy, N.Y., told the newspaper. “And we’re being a blessing and a help to people who have been attacked, viciously attacked, by socialists and anti-Christian people — the politicians and the media.”
A flyer advertising the March 23 service features a Bible verse -- "my peace I give unto you" -- above an image of a AR-15 modified to meet New York's new gun-control laws. (Koletas noted that the rifle does not have a pistol grip.) A state lawmaker, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R), is scheduled to also speak at the event.
McLaughlin noted that the winner will have to go through a background check before being able to take home the $700 firearm.
“This is something Gov. Cuomo should applaud," McLaughlin said. "These are law-abiding people, churchgoing people, and it complies with” the gun control legislation passed in the state last year and known as the SAFE Act.