In an August 26 newsletter, the Pima County Republican Party announced it’s raffling off a handgun to raise money for the group.

The problem? Pima County is within the Arizona congressional district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was nearly killed earlier this year after a shooting at a local meet-and-greet event left six people dead. As a result, many feel raffling off a Glock .45 — the same type of gun used in the attack — is in poor taste.

The local Democratic Party chairman, Jeff Rogers, said, “This is something that pulls a scab off of a wound … They could have changed the prize to an iPad or a set of golf clubs or anything that doesn’t conjure up images of that day.”

But Pima County GOP Chairman Mike Shaw says gun raffles are a long-standing tradition within the group. He also cited a 2008 article in the Arizona Capitol Times in which Giffords stated she herself owns a Glock and considers gun ownership to be a constitutional right.

The congresswoman’s office has declined a request for comment.


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