Local Community Bashes Youth Football and Cheerleading League for Raising Money with a Rifle Raffle

(Photo Credit: WLOS)

The East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League (EHYFCL) in East Flat Rock, North Carolina, is receiving criticism from parents, the local community, and users on social media for raffling off a modern sporting rifle to raise money.

This isn’t the first year this non-profit organization has used an AR-pattern rifle as a fundraising tool. A league spokesperson from EHYFCL told the NY Post, “The AR raffle has taken place three years consecutive and brings in the most support we have ever had.”

The rifle for this particular raffle is an FN 15 Patrol Carbine. The EHYFCL shared that the rifle is an ArmaLite 15-style rifle (AR-15) that is not a fully automatic weapon, is being held by a Federal Firearms License (FFL), and that the future winner must fill out the ATF’s Form 4473 and be able to pass a NICS background check.

EHYFC’s website states, “The EHYFC, Inc is a non-profit organization aimed at giving the youth (ages 5-12) of our area a chance to participate in a Football and Cheerleading program.”

Parents and local community members complained that the rifle raffle was inappropriate due to the age of the kids in the program and the fact that a firearm was being used to raise funds.

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An anonymous parent told WLOS, “I was honestly shocked when I received the message that the children were going to be selling an assault rifle because of what’s going on at schools around the country.”

Another local parent who wished to remain anonymous said, “I thought it was in very bad taste for them to choose a weapon that is being used against children.”

The East Henderson Youth Football and Cheerleading League posted a Facebook post on September 1, 2022, in response to the feedback from parents and the local community at large. The comments have been hidden and are no longer visible.

Public Facebook Post from EHYFC

The controversy of using firearms to raise money for youth sports programs in North Carolina seems to be a trend. Earlier this summer, an AR-15 raffle for high school wrestlers at Chase High School in neighboring Rutherford County was suspended amid concerns about rising gun violence nationwide. If funds are not raised through raffles or donations, the fees are passed along to parents for gear, equipment, and other items necessary for the youth programs.

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About the author: Kenzie Fitzpatrick is the Owner of Reticle Up, LLC, a marketing agency specializing in working with businesses in the outdoor industry. She is a firearms instructor, a professional competitive shooter, a certified AR-15 armorer, and the host of the Reticle Up Podcast. She’s a positive voice in the 2A community, traveling the country to attend firearms events and sharing her passion with others.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • W September 23, 2022, 2:50 pm

    I’m upset about it too… I didn’t get to buy any tickets!

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment September 23, 2022, 2:47 pm

    How about weed tax dollars or gambling tax dollars funding schools and such……they should have an abortion raffle people would be all over that trying to win one!

  • Jim September 23, 2022, 1:59 pm

    This is nothing but an organized anti-2A group purporting to be members of the community. Certainly some anti’s who actually live in the community will complain, as is their right. But after 3 successful years of this raffle, word is out, and protests have become organized. I am certain this is the last year an AR will be raffled.

    As for the wailing of “raffling off a rifle!!”, statistics I have studied and keep handy show that in a typical year, only 4% of firearm murders are committed with a rifle. Raffling a rifle which will be awarded only to a qualified winner has virtually zero impact on the use of firearms in a murder.

  • Daniel bardwell September 23, 2022, 1:42 pm

    This is standard SOP here in Alaska ,give the people what they want ! Heck one of our biggest gun shows is held at a local high school ! Is that not the norm in the lower 48 ? It’s upsetting to me , watching this great nation backslide into socialism.

  • Henry September 23, 2022, 10:47 am

    What a bunch of stupid whiners. The ar is a legal product and popular. That’s the idea, raffle off something people want.do they actually thing a mass shooter will get his weapon thru a rafle?

  • Billy M September 23, 2022, 10:27 am

    It’s very telling that most of the parents interview did so anonymously. If you feel strongly enough about something have the courage to identify yourself. I like the EHYFC’s response. If you have a better idea, BRING IT!

  • FilmArmorer September 23, 2022, 9:53 am

    For heaven’s sake- not like they’re in LA or Philly- it’s southern America- OF COURSE they are going to have a rifle raffle! Sounds like this was a first time effort. Wonder what took them so long to get there (I know many other orgs that have doing it for years.) I do appreciate the post from the League- “If you don’t like it, get off your duff and help us out!” But no, we’re a nation of whiners and safe-spacers now. 🙁

  • Dr Motown September 23, 2022, 7:59 am

    Shut down the “social media” chatter and continue on with the raffle! If you don’t want the rifle, don’t buy a ticket! Personally, I’ll try and find out how I can buy a ticket today

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