A group of Missouri third-graders are selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 assault-style rifle to raise money for their baseball team.
The Huffington Post reports the raffle, which was launched before the mass shooting that killed 17 students at a Florida high school last week, offers the same type of weapon used in the attack. The rifle was donated by a father of one of the boys on the team, who happens to be the co-founder of a gun manufacturer in the city of Neosho.
The coach for the team, Levi Patterson, says none of the children will be required to sell the tickets if it makes them uncomfortable. But he said gun raffles have "been going on for years" and "evil has and will always exist" when pressured to nix the raffle.
Patterson says he's received criticism on social media for continuing with the raffle, but has seen support in the form of donations as well.
This BBSNews article originally appeared on News | WPLG.