Gwinnett Bandits baseball team raffles assault rifle

ATLANTA – A Gwinnett County youth baseball organization raises money by giving away an AR-15 assault rifle and raising eyebrows at some of Gwinnett’s parents.

Youth baseball leagues have a cost. Baseball equipment, balls, and uniforms cost money. The Gwinnett Bandits, a youth baseball travel team, are holding a fundraiser. His Facebook page is sponsoring a raffle – with the prize as an AR-15. It’s a semi-automatic assault rifle.

“I think having this AR-15 as a prize is a big problem because it’s intended for a kid’s baseball team,” said Veronica Pennington, a Gwinnett County mother who said her 6-year-old was striving to playing in a youth baseball league.

She said she was stunned that a baseball travel team aged seven and over would be giving away an assault rifle to raise funds.

“There are so many ways to get the money that it seems almost like a slap in the face to anyone who survived a mass shooting,” said Pennington.

However, a Gwinnett Bandits official said the fundraiser poses no risk to children and will only benefit those children who play a cue ball.

“If people want an AR-15 and can legally own it, I see no problem with that,” said league official Dean Craven. “This fundraiser will help many children play the game they love.”

He said the organization was not trying to make a political statement on gun rights.

Craven said the winner would get a gift card for a store where the gun is located. The winner must legally qualify to own the gun and pass a background check.

The second amendment, which supports politicians like former Georgia Congressman Paul Broun, has been giving away assault rifles to raise funds and generate enthusiasm for political campaigning. Pennington said it made a little more sense than raffling off an assault rifle for youth sports.

“It’s our responsibility to educate (children) wisely and that there is a time and place for an AR-15. And a local baseball team raffle just isn’t,” she said.

The Gwinnett Bandits are also giving away a 60-inch television and a Yeti cooler that is “filled with alcohol”.

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