Delaware youth baseball team raffles off semi-automatic gun to raise money

The raffle pot is already at $6,000. Tickets have been purchased in 28 states, including Alaska.
SUSSEX COUNTY, Delaware (WPVI) -- A Sussex County, Delaware travel baseball team is gaining attention for raffling off a semi-automatic gun to raise money.

It's not unusual for organizations to hold gun raffles to raise money, but the executive director of the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence argues against the idea of doing so for children's sports.

"I just think it's in poor taste to raffle off a deadly weapon to support youth sports," says Traci Manza Murphy. "What message are we sending when we're supporting youth sports by raffling off semi-automatic shotguns? What message are we sending here?"

The Delaware Spartans are a 100% non-profit organization. They say this is a fundraiser, and these raffles are critical for raising money to help the team both train and travel.

"We're not going to advocate for or against guns, we're just advocating for the kids," says Frank Payton, the spokesperson for the Delaware Spartans.

"As long as we're following the laws and making sure that everybody's compliant and legally obtaining this, then that's what we should be able to do. We value everybody's opinion. But when it comes down to it, we're really advocating for our kids and their ability to learn the game of baseball," the Delaware Spartans said in a statement.

A team parent donated the semi-automatic shotgun, along with a pistol.

The team said all local and federal laws will be followed, and at no time are the kids in the presence of the items.

The winner will work directly with a Federal Firearms License dealer.

The raffle pot is already at $6,000. Tickets have been purchased in 28 states, including Alaska.

This raffle winner will be drawn on December 18.
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