A youth baseball league in central Illinois is in desperate need of cash – so they’ve decided to auction off an AR-15 assault rifle.
The Atwood-Hammond baseball league said they only raised $10 with last year’s raffle. So a local gun shop provided the league with a Rock River Arms Tactical Operator Two .
“My phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Charidy Bucher, co-owner of the Atwood Armory shop. “The response has been tremendous.”
Bucher said her phone has been ringing since 4:30 a.m.
“People from out of state have been calling,” she said.
She said the winner of the rifle will also receive 260 rounds of ammunition.
“Ammo is just as hard to get as the firearms these days, unfortunately,” she said.
The towns of Atwood and Hammond are about 25 miles southwest of Champaign – where many residents invoke their Second Amendment rights.
“Most people in central Illinois like to go out and shoot with their families,” she told Fox News. “People are interested in preserving their rights to keep and bear arms.”
But is it appropriate for a youth baseball team to raffle a weapon?
“That may sound crazy to a lot of people, but the thing is my kids have all been taught exactly how to handle a gun,” Atwood-Hammond baseball director Steve McClain told television station WFIE. ”They know they’re not a toy,” he said.
A Little League spokesman told Fox News the Illinois team is not officially chartered with their organization.
“It’s not against the law,” the spokesman said, referring to the gun raffle. “But we certainly would not recommend one of our leagues do something like that.”
Little League said they do not tell their leagues how they should raise funds.
“Hopefully, they would use their best possible judgment,” the spokesman said.
Bucher said she has received some negative calls – but the majority has been supportive.
“Everything is perfectly legal,” she said. “We’re not just handing the gun out. Whoever wins still has to go through the proper legal channels.”
That mean whoever wins would have to go through a background check and have an Illinois Firearms Owner’s Identification card.