If they had to do it again, Bergenfield’s PBA wouldn’t have included shotgun and rifle as part of a recent fund-raising raffle for various youth-related organizations.
In fact, the union is refunding the cost of the raffle tickets to anyone who bought them.
PBA Local #309 chose a Samsung 55-inch TV, a KEL-Tec KSG 12-gauge shotgun and a M&P Sport II semi-automatic rifle as its big prizes.
The TV was to be handed to the winner of that raffle while the winner of the weapons was to receive a voucher to take to a gun store, Capt. Mustafa Rabboh said Friday.
“The winner of the weapons was obligated to clear a thorough background check in order to receive them,” Rabboh said. “The weapons are in the possession of the gun store and at no time were they going to be turned over to the winner by any member of the PBA.”
Rabboh wouldn't address it, but a local newspaper made a big story out of the raffle, quoting an anti-gun activist and saying that AR-15 semi-automatic rifles have been used in mass shootings in the U.S.
After discussing it, administrators, PBA leadership and department members decided to pull the guns.
“Although the money raised was to benefit scholarships and programs for our youth, the safety and respect we share with our community far outweighs the means to raise these funds,” Rabboh said.
So the money’s going back to the ticket holders.
“We understand the gravity of these weapons and the means to which they’ve been used,” Rabboh said. “We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended.”
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