A gun shop is raising money for Orlando victims by raffling off an AR-15 rifle

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In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, many Americans have responded to a shocking act of hateful violence with dignity and compassion.


And then there's this: a Chicago area gun shop that plans to raffle an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to benefit the victims of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

"We wanted to do something for the loss of lives and injuries that happened to people in Orlando," Second Amendment Sports co-owner Bert Irslinger Jr. explained to the Chicago Tribune.


"We’re looking to support the victims, the families and the survivors of this act,” he later told Chicago's WGN. “How we do that, is in our own way."

The instinct to help a community reeling from tragedy is a noble one, but the cutting irony of promoting a high-powered rifle similar to that used by Orlando shooter Omar Mateen seemed lost on the McHenry, IL gun shop.

"For our industry, this isn’t weird,” Irslinger Jr. said. “It’s a normal product. It’s bought every day buy Americans across the United States."

It's a sentiment echoed at a recent gun show in Minneola, Florida—the first in the Orlando area since the shooting. There, on the admissions table, Fusion's Peter Moskowitz saw organizers soliciting donations "to help the Orlando victims of ISIS terrorism."


According to the shop, Second Amendment Sports will make a $2,000 donation to the OneOrlando Fund, augmented by the sale of $5 raffle tickets for the AR-15. The drawing will take place on July 31st, with the winner still required to possess or fill out the requisite federal paperwork, as well as abide by a 24-hour waiting period, Irslinger Jr. said.

"I'm glad people are trying to raise money," Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence in Chicago executive director Colleen Daley told the Tribune. "I just don't think it's the most appropriate way to do that. These guns are weapons of war, meant to kill large numbers of people in a short time, which is what happened in Orlando. I find it very distasteful and offensive."


Second Amendment Sports was inundated with angry messages on its Facebook page. One commenter wrote, "What's next Second Amendment? Raffling off bombs to support the victims in Istanbul? Sick….." Another suggested the shop take their AR-15 and "shove it up [their] ass."

Early Thursday afternoon the gun shop tweeted sympathy for the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.


This is not the first time Second Amendment Sports has caused controversy in its suburban community. In 2015, McHenry residents raised concerns over the shop's proximity to a local school.

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