State Senator Brings the Politically Motivated Gun Raffle Back to Maryland

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State Sen. Michael Hough is hoping to get some early support from gun enthusiasts for his 2018 re-election bid by raffling off a semi-automatic rifle.

Hough, a 37-year-old Republican who represent who represents Frederick County and part of Carroll County in District 4, announced the raffle yesterday, according to the AP. The winner gets an AR-15 rifle and 250 rounds of ammunition.

Hough was elected to his seat in the Maryland Senate in 2014, and is up for re-election in November 2018. His re-election campaign is holding the raffle.

He’s no pioneer in trying out this stunt to earn support from Second Amendment defenders. Former Libertarian U.S. Rep. Ron Paul and more than a dozen others gave away guns during their 2014 re-election season, according to Mother Jones. In Missouri alone, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found politicians spent more than $55,000 obtaining guns for giveaways within a 10-year period.

Maryland has had previous instances of politicians raffling off guns in the state, including C. Ronald Franks in 1994 (AR-14) and former Maryland state Del. Don Dwyer in 2013 (AR-15 and an AK-47). (The latter happened before Maryland banned full assault rifles in 2013, though that law could potentially be thrown out.)

AR-15 rifles and similar assault rifle-style guns have generated a great deal of controversy around the country. The shooter in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting used one made by firearm manufacturer Bushmaster, and the man who carried out the June 2015 Orlando nightclub massacre used a similar-looking gun.

According to the AP, Hough’s re-election campaign said their AR-15 complies with all of Maryland’s firearm requirements.

Ethan McLeod
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