Iowans Against Gun Violence oppose a raffle aimed at raising money for a Quad Cities memorial to slain police officers. The honor for on-duty officers isn’t the target of the group — it’s the method of the fundraising, according to spokesman John Johnson. One of the fund-raisers is a raffle of an AR-14 assault rifle, which he says is legal only because it’s been carefully designed to get around a ban on ownership of assault weapons. Back in 1994 the assault-weapons ban was backed by police officers, for a good reason. Johnson says the choice of raffle prize is not appropriate for a law-enforcement agency.The reason for that is that assault-type firearms are involved in a disproportionate number of killings of law-enforcement officers. Johnson says Iowans Against Gun Violence are working to see that assault weapons are made illegal for the general public to own. Making the assault rifle a raffle prize is endorsing it, in a way, and he says it’s like an athlete endorsing cigarettes, something contrary to what they’re all about. Johnson says the group is offering to give the law-enforcement memorial committee a hunting rifle or shotgun, in place of the assault weapon, to raffle for their fundraiser. The monument to law officers fallen in the line of duty has already been built, and fundraising continues to add landscaping and other touches to the memorial.
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