Last week, the entire world was horrified to learn of a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 58 individuals in Las Vegas—the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. According to official reports, a single gunman allegedly unleashed hundreds of rounds from an upper-level hotel room into a large crowd of people attending a country music festival. In the days that followed, the debate over legal gun ownership has once again captured the nation’s attention, as is often the case after high-profile shootings.
On one extreme, proponents of stricter gun control laws support the idea that private ownership of firearms should be more severely limited. On the other end of the spectrum, gun rights activists believe that responsible gun owners should not be forced to compromise their Second Amendment rights. The divide between the two extremes is even evident on a local level, with controversy arising over a gun raffle scheduled to take place this week in Lake County.
Lake County Republicans have been working on plans for their first-ever gun raffle for well over a year. The event—“The Second Amendment Dinner and Gun Raffle”—is scheduled for this Friday and includes raffles of at least a dozen different firearms. Reports indicate that attendees could potentially win an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a 9 mm handgun, among other prizes.
Critics, however, have taken issue with the timing of the event. Some have expressed the opinion that holding a gun raffle less than two weeks following the tragedy in Las Vegas is disrespectful to the victims and their families. Event organizers say that it is simply too late to change the date now. Deposits have already been made and tickets have already been sold. In addition, the actions of “one sick individual” does not “mean that the Second Amendment isn’t something that should be protected,” a member of the Lake County Republican Committee observed.
While it was too late to change plans for the raffle, the organizers have recognized the sensitive nature of the situation. They have announced that proceeds from the event will be donated to first responders in Las Vegas.
Legality of Gun Raffles
Timing considerations aside, there is nothing illegal about a properly-licensed gun raffle in the state of Illinois. It is legal for a state-sanctioned firearms dealer to display guns that are a part of the raffle, as long as the raffle organizers have obtained the proper permit under the state’s gambling laws. Winners of the raffle must obtain—or show proof of—a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card before he or she can take possession of the gun. The transfer of ownership is treated like a sale from a dealer, and all of the same legal restrictions apply.
Gun Law Questions?
If you have recently won a gun raffle and you have questions about how to legally take possession of your prize, contact an experienced weapons violations attorney in Will County. We will work with you to ensure that you are in full compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations and help you avoid any unpleasant surprises. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.