STOCKTON (CBS13) — A raffle launched by a prison in Stockton is raising money for charity by including an AR-15 rifle as a prize, triggering a lot of reaction around the region and questions as to whether a prison system can even auction off a weapon.
A flyer for the raffle advertises an AR-15 rifle as a prize for a holiday raffle; it states the rifle is supplied by the warden of the health care facility. The flyer is stamped with a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) badge and even says the proceeds benefit a toy drive.
CBS13 is also learning another flyer was sent auctioning off executive parking spots to lower- ranking employees — both unusual prizes in an effort to raise funds for charity.
“The problem with this raffle is you can sell the ticket to somebody who doesn’t qualify to own it,” said Armando Villapudua, a criminal defense attorney in Stockton.
Villapadua says he can’t say whether the raffle is legal or illegal, but he says it’s certainly questionable.
“It doesn’t indicate it’s limited to CDCR employees and even if it is, not everybody is gonna pass the same background check,” Villapadua added.
Something else that stood out to Villapadua was the statement below the photo of the rifle, stating the winner is responsible for transferring the weapon to their name.
“Before you can transfer a firearm to somebody they have to complete a firearm transaction record.”
But according to a spokesman for the CDCR, “The raffle for the rifle and parking spots are being held among prison staff to benefit their annual toy drive.”
CBS 13 showed the flyer to several people Wednesday night — some were against the raffle.
“I totally disagree,” said one woman.
Others didn’t see anything wrong with it.
“It’s no different than auctioning a car. Me personally, I’m not for guns, it’s like auctioning anything else off really,” said another.
The one thing that had everyone confused is who enter the raffle and win the AR-15.
The CDCR says this is a raffle among employees, and that the transfer of the rifle will take place at a local gun shop.
It’s still not clear if the prison staff participating in the weapon raffle includes anyone who isn’t a peace officer.