A youth football cheerleading league in North Carolina has come under fire for offering a rifle in a raffle

A North Carolina nonprofit that raises money for young athletes and leaders has sparked backlash after offering a gun as a cash prize at a fundraiser.

The lottery held by the East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League (EHYFCL) in East Flat Rock, North Carolina, received criticism from some residents for displaying the winning FN 15 Patrol Carbine, according to local media. on ABC’s WLOS.

“We are not offering an assault rifle. We are offering an FN 15 Patrol Carbine,” an EHYFCL spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “This is an ArmaLite 15-style rifle, not fully automatic, which by definition excludes it from being classified as an assault rifle. We are following all ATF guidelines. The item is held at an FFL, and the recipient must fill out an ATF form. 4473 and pass a NICS background check before taking possession.

Some critics objected to the choice of award, believing it was inappropriate for a children’s league. East Henderson’s league football players are 5 to 13 years old, and cheerleading squad members are 4 to 13 years old, according to the organization.

“I was really shocked when I got the message that kids are selling assault rifles because of what’s going on in schools across the country,” an anonymous concerned parent told WS. Another local parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I thought it was in bad taste that they chose a weapon for children.”

The group also weighed in on Facebook users, who said the lottery was everything from “sad” and “bad” to “disgusting” and “disgusting.”

EHYFCL leaders also responded to the criticism in a Facebook post on Thursday, writing that they are “responding to complaints openly and ‘secretly’ about our lottery.”

Explaining that they are now accepting formal fundraising requests, the team wrote, “If you have a surefire way to raise enough money quickly to get us through the rest of the season and still have enough to start next season, we need you to put that energy to good use.”

After clarifying that their organization is not affiliated with the school district or district, the group said, “Judges are not volunteers, [law enforcement officers] and child safety first responders are not volunteers.”

“The use of the field, stadium, and facilities is not free, lost uniforms, tongues, chins, ear pads, bows, and socks are not free,” the team continued. “It’s not free equipment, it’s not free insurance, all the other fees the league has to pay are not imaginary.”

“If we don’t raise enough money, we are forced to raise wages,” union leaders added.

EHYFCL told WS that they are “currently raising funds to purchase new equipment and to be able to sponsor children in our community who cannot afford the registration fees.”

The winner of the raffle must be at least 21 years old and pass a background check, a spokesperson for the league explained further, adding “The AR raffle has taken place three years in a row and brings the most support we have ever received.”

The controversial raid in Henderson County, North Carolina, comes months after an AR-15 wielding by high school wrestlers at Chase High School in neighboring Rutherford County was halted amid concerns about rising gun violence in the country. all.

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