Was it "too soon" when a Putnam County Fire Company put up an AR-15 rifle as their main raffle prize for their fundraiser?

The answer to that question depends on who you ask. According to Lohud.com, a room full of people people voiced their disapproval when the Kent, NY Fire Department announced the grand prize in their Annual Fundraising Raffle would be an AR-15 rifle along with a 20-gauge shotgun. Kent's Board of Commissioners really didn't think it was such a great idea saying:

The raffling of firearms does not show good judgement or sensitivity to the community we serve.

Fire Chief Justin Bryne vehemently disagreed with the Board by saying:

Don't come down here and tell us we are doing it wrong. It makes you all look bad. I see no reason to stop this raffle.

Kent's FD decided to pull the AR-15 rifle as their fundraising prize because it was the rifle used in the Parkland Florida shootings. The AR-15 was also used to kill in Sandy Hook, Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, San Bernardino, California, along with shootings in Colorado, Oregon, and Texas.

Instead of offering the two firearms as raffle prizes, the Kent Fire Department will now give raffle winners gift certificates to a Putnam gun shop for $800, which is the cost of the AR-15 and $500, which is the cost of the 20-gauge shotgun.

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