The Pima County Republican Party is raffling off a Glock 23 handgun to raise money for get-out-the-vote efforts in Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Arizona district.
The congresswoman is recovering from being critically wounded in a mass shooting in January that left six people dead and 13 injured, including Giffords. Giffords was holding a "Congress at your corner" event in Tucson when a shooter open fired with a Glock 19.
"That's right, for just 10 dollars this gun could be yours," the newsletter reads. The Pima County GOP plans to sell 125 raffle tickets, and the winner will also receive three 12-round magazines, adjustable grips and a case.
Greg Harris, executive director of the Pima GOP, told Hotsheet the firearm was in his organization's possession prior to the January shooting.
Asked whether the raffle would appear insensitive, Harris also pointed out that Giffords herself owns a Glock and has been a strong gun advocate. As Hotsheetafter the tragic Tucson event, gun ownership is a deeply ingrained part of Arizona culture. Owning a gun simply "is Arizona, it is the West, it is the culture," Carol Ruh, president of the Arizona Women's Shooting Associates, told Hotsheet.
Still, some are calling the raffle inappropriate. "There's a woman who has a bullet in the brain and who everybody is wishing a full recovery," Brian Miller, the immediate past chair of the Pima County GOP told Talking Points Memo. "I don't think that raffling off a firearm right now is probably the right way to go."