GOP head takes heat for gun raffle


The state Republican party is taking heat for its choice of raffle prizes in an upcoming fund-raiser, and the party's chair, Warren resident Mark Smiley, is in the crosshairs for much of that anger.

Attendees at a GOP fund-raiser scheduled for Saturday in West Greenwich can buy a $5 raffle ticket and be entered to win an AR-15 assault rifle. The semi-automatic weapon is the civilian version of the military's M16 rifle. Also being auctioned are a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 and a Berretta .357 single action pistol. Lesser prizes include hundreds of rounds of ammo, gift certificates to a shooting supply store, and other items.

The fund-raiser will be held at the South County Rod and Gun Club, and is being dubbed "Rhode Island's 2nd Amendment Celebration."

"The people who support the Second Amendment are very passionate about it," Mr. Smiley said in an interview with the Providence Journal. The show is a way for them to support the "more constitutional" party.

The fund-raiser has not gone unnoticed. Facebook was flooded with complaints yesterday from Warren and beyond.

"Gotta be proud" about a Warren resident being at the center of it all, one Facebook poster from Warren noted sarcastically.

Mr. Smiley is also the former chairman of the Warren Republican Town Committee.

Editor's note

A reader sent the following clarification and asked that it be added to the article:

"The AR15 is used in both regional and national target competition. It is also an excellent hunting rifle available in a variety of calibers as required for particular hunts.  Although it may look like a Military firearm, it is not a military firearm. It is not an “assault weapon.”  The AR15 is the “modern sporting rifle."

Most politicians and anti-gunners are very ignorant about guns.  Please refrain from calling the AR15 an “assault rifle.” Please publish a correction to name the AR15 the “modern sporting rifle” that it is.



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the AR 15 is not an assault weapon

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Report this
Jack Baillargeron

Boy I bet the anti-gun Zealots were salivating at the mouth to jump on Mr. Smiley's throat on this. As usual though they lie through their teeth well standing in the blood of dead children!!!

Ted Hayes Needs to re-write this article, as it is very incorrect and biased toward anti-gun crowd. The AR-15 is no different than any other semi-automatic rifle on the market. An assault rifle must be able to have a selection switch that allows it to go to full Auto (It Does Not) as stated in another post that requires a lot of hoops and very few of the 87 Million gun owners in this Country have one.

The AR-15 is the most common rifle sold in the US. It is also almost never ever used in criminal acts. As a matter of fact, in 2011 there were 367 murders committed with rifles of all models according to the FBI. (More people were killed with hammers that year by the way).

Why is it when some wacko goes and kills a large number of people, the anti-gun zealots go after the people who did nothing at all. It is called "delusional propaganda syndrome" that they have allowed their brain to be infested with.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Report this
Jack Baillargeron

PS; To Mr. Hayes (who I respect) Military Assault Rifles are not for sale to the general Public in the US and fully Automatic weapons were banned in 1934. The Military M16 is also not for sale to the general public as it can switch to full auto. So you are parsing words in the story to move forward an anti-gun agenda of fear. please correct this as I do not believe you are that kind of editor or person who would intentionally do that.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Report this

It's refreshing to see the above comments. Facts should always be used to counter emotion masked as knowledge.

The AR-15 is not an assault rifle. An assult rifle must be automatic capable by definition.

The M16 is not a considered a semi automatic as it's most important characteristic is it's ability to be set to full automatic.

I do not know the writer of this article but I will give him the benefit of the doubt...for now. Jack Baillargeron above calls for the article to be corrected.

I'll wait and see if that happens...but I won't be holding my breath.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Report this

This is yet again the press priming the pump only to stir up muck!

Before the next person even says the words... "what do you need an AR for", remember this. ALL of the people going to this event or taking raffle tickets are LAW ABIDING family men and women. Why are they raffling off an AR? Why do people want to win it? It is because as a firearms collector, a sportsman, an avid target shooter it is nothing more than one more model firearm to collect. IT IS... the same thing as someone that wants a fancy knife, not to stab someone but to add it to their collection. Same as someone that wants a Louisville slugger. Not to beat someone with but to add to their collection.

The news media HAS to stop talking about these firearms as though they are going to criminals. THEY WILL NEVER ADMIT IT however because that would not be sensational news to gain watchers and readers. News media keep bending the truth and spreading half truths you only convince the informed, the intelligent and the supporters of the Constitution of the United States of America that you have NO regard for the constitution, the truth or reporting facts.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Report this

The if all legal requirements are followed why would this be an issue? People who are intellectually lazy blame firearms for homicide/crime. Honestly it is time to change the conversation around violent crime. Where are the liberals when it comes to lowering taxes and creating jobs. Surely they can't argue that violent crime is centered around poverty? The fastest way to end that poverty is to create employment opportunity. Yet they fail year after year and still our state elects the same super liberal candidates. Wake up RI!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 | Report this

Yes it is... as any weapon used to assault someone is an assault weapon. So lets Bann ice pics and butter knives because they can be used in an assault too. Its the Human behind it who is the assailant, not the weapon used.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 | Report this

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