Colorado rancher's rifle raffle for football team draws criticism

Colorado rancher's rifle raffle for football team draws criticism

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Colorado rancher's rifle raffle for football team draws criticism

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The intent was good. The broader implications less so.

As reported by Denver ABC affiliate KMGH and the Cortez Journal, the Mancos High School football team has found itself under additional scrutiny because of an annual donation made by an alumnus and local rancher in the best way he knows how: By holding a public auction for a rifle.

Obviously, any initiative that incorporates both firearms and schools draws significant attention because of gun violence around the country, not to mention the registration laws required to legally own a firearm.

Yet Mancos High has not openly criticized the fundraiser because the school district itself doesn’t oversee any part of it, even if they do benefit from it. According to Mancos ISD Superintendent Brian Hanson, the rancher raffles the firearm as a private citizen and donates proceeds to the football team, which competes in Colorado’s 8-man division and badly needs the funds to continue operating as it has.

That hasn’t saved the district or the fundraiser from negative attention, or further scrutiny in years ahead as long as the rifle raffle fundraiser continues.

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