Caldwell County D.A.R.E program fundraiser includes raffle for rifles

Gun auction funds combating drug abuse

LENOIR, N.C. (WBTV) - A program to teach children how to resist drugs is raising money over the next week with a golf tournament and a raffle.

Normally that doesn’t cause any controversy. This year, though, the prizes in the raffle include an AR-15 rifle and a Henry Lever Action Rifle.

“I think that’s pretty good,” said Donnie McGee. “I may have to buy a ticket.”

The D.A.R.E. Program, Drug Abuse Resistance Education program is taught in the public schools but is not a public school program, officials say.

“The raffle is not something that is being done by Caldwell County schools,”Caldwell County Schools Superintendent Dr. Donald Phipps said in a statement.

The program is run by and funded by law enforcement.

Officials there believe much of Caldwell County is pro gun and the raffle just made sense, said one. There are 7,400 concealed carry permit holders in the county and just in the past year more than 2,100 gun purchase permits were issued.

Carol Conley is worried though that raffling off weapons for a program taught in the schools might send the wrong message to kids. She likes the idea of a raffle but not having guns involved.

“If they just could raffle off a TV or anything besides guns.”

Officials did consider ending the raffle, but have decided to go ahead with it.

The drawing will be on Wednesday at the D.A.R.E. golf tournament.

Whoever wins one of the weapons will have to undergo the normal federal background check for a rifle but also will be required to apply for and receive a gun purchase permit from the Sheriff’s Office.

Among other things, it will require a three day waiting period.

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