Gun Raffle... Any Advice/Horror Stories?


February 6, 2010, 10:20 PM
I'm trying to organize an AR-15 raffle for a local political organization. Our objective is to raise money and get visibility.

Does anyone out there have any experience in this arena that they'd like to share with me?

Here's some of the ideas I'm going to run by our group's legal counsel, but I'd welcome any thoughts you may have, too:

* Tickets cost $10 each. Only 500 will be printed. Chances of winning are 1 in 500 for each ticket purchased.

* IAW Florida Statutes 790.18 and 790.19, raffle tickets will not be sold to minors under the age of 18. (If we also auction a handgun, then this will have to be 21 years of age.) Should an individual purchase a ticket through misrepresentation of his age or identity, he shall forfeit the cost of that ticket and shall be ineligible to participate in the drawing.

* Winner will be determined by a public drawing at the ____ general membership meeting and publically announced at that meeting. Contestants need not be present to win.

* The drawing will be conducted by the Chairperson/President or by another person specifically designated by the Chairperson/President. By participating in this raffle, contestants agree to abide by the Chairperson/President's determination of the winner.

* Contestants have the option of indicating on their ticket if they desire that their name not be publically announced, should they be the winner. (We'll need to be sure we have a block on the ticket for this, and we'll need to be sure whoever draws the winning ticket looks at this block before they announce the winner.)

* The winner of this raffle shall be issued a voucher for the purchase of an AR-15 rifle (brand, description, accessories) from ___(gun store)________ and for any necessary taxes and background checks. ___(gun store)_____ shall conduct a background check IAW Florida Statute 790.065. If sale is approved IAW 790.065, ____(gun store)_____ shall transfer the rifle to the winner at the conclusion of _________ County's 3-day waiting period.

* Should the background check indicate that the winner cannot take possession of a firearm, the winner shall be reimbursed the cost of his ticket and a new winner will be drawn by the Chairperson/President as soon as practical. (Option: If winner can't pass a background check, he will get the cost of the rifle instead. This point is still up for discussion.)

* The winner agrees to obey all valid federal, state, and local laws, and shall hold _______harmless from any responsibility for misue, mischief or misadventure resulting from the possession or use of the rifle. (Why do I say "valid" gun laws? Some laws are not "valid." I suspect this will drive the lawyer batty.)

Anyway, if any of you have gone down this road and hit any potholes, I'd sure like to know what your experiences were.

- - - Yoda

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February 6, 2010, 10:41 PM
Sound pretty good to me. Our club has conducted such a raffle for the last 30 years or so with no problems whatsoever.

I would not put in the part about what to do if the guy cant pass a background. Buying a ticket is attempting to obtain a weapon and he already knows that is illegal. If the winner should flunk the background he will have bigger worries than winning the raffle anyway. Chances of it happening are extremely remote.

February 6, 2010, 10:45 PM
Looks good to me. I remember when the HS booster Club at my HS used to get a 30/30 or a 870 donated by Wal Mart and would raffle off at the HS football games and the winner would be drawn and awarded at the 50 yard line during halftime of the last home game of the season. Thanks to the nuts in LR and DC you can't do it any more.

February 7, 2010, 12:00 AM
IMHO you will probably not be able to get away with the term " 'valid' gun laws," as I think it will be considered vague under the law, and constitute a contract that would be considered against the public good.
If a law is on the books and enforceable it will be considered valid by the government. You may not (or we may not) consider the law "valid" but that is our opinion.
Example: I do not consider the National Firearm Act of 1934 valid because it infringes on the second amendment rights of the citizens. Okay, fine, that is an opinion. Now, were I to violate this law by procuring through illegal means an NFA controlled weapon and the law catches me, I'm in for real legal hurt. I sincerely doubt expressing my opinion would help me in the slightest. I suppose I could direct my defense attorney to challenge the constitutionality of the law ... and maybe the court accepts or rejects the argument ....but OTOH do I have the $$$$ for this?
The judge could simply say I don't have that recourse and if I don't like the law I should write my congresskritter and ask him to repeal it.

Just my 2 there.... I'm not a lawyer and never played one on TV .... or stayed at.,...whatever that hotel chain was .... ;-)

February 7, 2010, 12:34 AM
Good points, but here in Florida, a lot of localities try to enforce laws that violate our state's pre-emption statute. Given this, these laws and local ordances are not "valid." Actually, thoguh, I was just having some I-am-not-a-lawyer fun. It's another way to see if our group's lawyer bothered to read this closely.

- - - Yoda

February 8, 2010, 07:15 AM
ain't really none of my business, but why must winner be constrained to "AR make/model X/Y", instead of rifle-of-choice-and accessories (within a named price range)

is something about "must-be-AR" specific to special interest political organization ?

Tim the student
February 8, 2010, 07:53 AM
My post is off topic, but I hope you don't mind.

County's 3-day waiting period.

You guys have waiting periods? That shocks me. Is it the same for long guns and handguns?

February 8, 2010, 08:38 AM
Nix the opting-out of the public announcement of the winner. Reads like a scam if it's magically private.

February 8, 2010, 09:38 AM
On the issue of publicly announcing the winner, suggest that this option be specifically reiterated when the person is told he won the firearm (not AR) voucher. Some wouldn't want it publicized for various reasons.

I agree with the option of giving the cash equivalent should the winner not qualify for the firearm. Let's face it, the object is raising money, not necessarily catering to RKBA folks - right? Even if the gun store is giving you a deal on the gun, it's still a tidy sum for your cause.

February 8, 2010, 10:44 PM
Yes, Florida law allows counties to establish waiting periods in excess of the 3-day waiting period for handguns, and some counties have done so. for rifles and shotguns

- - - Yoda

February 10, 2010, 06:49 PM
Okay for what its worth I don't practice law in Flordia, so I can't offer any thoughts on if it would run afoul of anything specific to Florida. That being said in general, most of it looks fine. There are a couple questions of definition that should be addressed, some which have been hinted at

1. Publicly announced - you are going to want to define this, does it mean, announcing to those present at the meeting, or does it go farther than that such as allowing for announcement in the local paper, (from you, if someone present such as a reporter reprints its they are just getting it from you at the meeting), your organizations news letter, political pamphlets, etc. Public announcement should be clearly outlined and explained.

2. On the issue of should the back ground check come up bad, stick with the refund the ticket language and do not the option to get the cost of the rifle. If someone is not legally able to own the firearm you don't want them applying for the raffle with the thought that they will get money from you instead. You open yourself up to a lot of liability there (says the plaintiff's lawyer). Don't do it.

3. I would include in there an additional statement like "By purchasing a ticket the buyer warrants that they are legally able to own and/or possess a firearm under Florida and Federal law." This makes it clear that you are not trying to circumvent, or be a straw purchaser, and if something does happen will show that you are trying to obey the law (and discourage those who should not own/possess a firearm from doing so).

that's my $0.02 which is about what free legal advise is worth (again knowing I don't practice in Florida or in gambling/raffle law in any way). Good luck hope you have a good turn out.

Tim the student
February 10, 2010, 07:12 PM
Thanks Yoda.

February 10, 2010, 07:18 PM
OK, part of it is image, but part of it is practicality. We thought it would be useful to hold up an example of what's being auctioned. We had to pick something.

- - - Yoda

February 11, 2010, 08:02 AM
Since you are trying to raise money. Go to the Local Gun stores and find one that is willing to give you a good deal for having their name on the poster and raffle tickets for picking up the firearm.

It's free publicity for the gunstore and you get a better deal on the AR which will give you more profit.

When the person buys the ticket they are in a contract that they are legal to own said firearm, so no cash option. Sorry but that's the way I feel.

And one more thing, the last raffle we did was for a Stag Arms model 2T. WE had 300 tickets at $10 a piece. After 3 months we had only sold about 200 tickets (I sold 125 in the first month and then it died on us) the rest were sold at the banquet. People are more interested in a carry firearm (pistol) right now.

Good luck

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