Rhode Island GOP Raffles Off Guns, Requires Winners Pass Background Checks

The Rhode Island GOP plans to raffle off guns at a fundraiser on Sunday and will require winners to pass a background check, the Providence Journal reported.

State Republican Chairman Mark Smiley told the newspaper that those attendees who win the guns being raffled off, one of which is a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style rifle, must pass a background check before collecting their prizes.

“The weapon will be held, and the winner given a certificate,” Smiley said. “That certificate will be redeemable at the gun shop that donated the weapon. After the winner passes both state and federal background checks and has waited the required week, they will take possession of the weapon.”

The Journal noted that news of the raffle was met with criticism from some Rhode Island Republicans, including potential GOP candidates for the governor’s office.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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