SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A new bill introduced by a southern California lawmaker would restrict non-profits from raffling off guns as prizes for their fundraising efforts.
Assembly Bill 3199 would limit non-profits to holding 3 raffles a year for each organization. But the non-profits targeted – and even an organization calling for tighter gun control measures – say this measure misses the mark.
“People come to the auction and dinners in the hope that they might be able to win a nice shotgun that they can hunt with, that they might not be able to afford otherwise,”
But AB 3199 aims at cutting back on those types of raffles, limiting nonprofit organizations who hold them.
Assemblyman Chris Holden, who amended the bill from banning all gun raffles to three per year, has called the measure reasonable.
The California Waterfowl Association, a non-profit organization supported by hunters that keeps wetland habitats thriving, says this will severely impact their charitable efforts.
“This affects not just our conservation organization, it affects a lot of charities, volunteer fire departments, some churches,” said Jeffrey Volberg with the California Waterfowl Association.
The organization says it nets about $2 million through about 100 fundraising events a year – most raffling firearms.
“We would cut that $2 million down by at least a half, maybe three fourths,” Volberg said.
Even a Sacramento based organization calling for a ban of semi-automatic rifles calls the bill a waste of time.
Dr. Bill Durston, president of Americans Against Gun Violence, tells CBS13: “The fact that the legislature would introduce a bill so narrow in scope shows just how out of touch and out of sync they are with the reality of gun violence.”
The California Waterfowl Association agrees, pointing out the bill would do nothing to help public safety.
“There’s absolutely no evidence or indication that anybody who wins a firearm at one of our dinners ever commits a crime,” Volberg said.
Nonprofits who participate in gun raffles say winners of the firearms have to abide by all the same regulations as someone purchasing a firearm at a gun store including a 10-day waiting period and passing a background check.