Lake Villa Twp. GOP gun raffle postponed: 'This is not the right time for the raffle'

A gun raffle scheduled as part of the Lake Villa Township Republican Club's annual fundraiser next month has been postponed indefinitely.

Club officials informally agreed via phone to hold off on the raffle for now, according to Dick Barr, vice chair of the Republican organization and a Lake County Board member.

The action comes in the wake of the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. The Uvalde shooting earlier this week claimed the lives of 19 elementary schoolchildren and two teachers.

"It was a unanimous sentiment, in light of the tragic events, out of respect for the families of all affected, that this is not the right time for the raffle," Barr said Friday.

An official action will be taken at the club's next scheduled meeting in September, he said.

The raffle of five guns had been planned to cap the club's annual golf outing/dinner fundraiser on June 16. Participants were to have paid $20 per ticket for a chance to win one of the five guns.

Barr said he suggested the gun raffle to raise funds for five high school scholarships given annually by the organization.

The scheduled raffle drew the ire of Lauren Beth Gash, Lake County Democrats chair and Democratic state central committeewoman, who said it should be canceled.

Gash described the gun raffle as being in "devastatingly poor taste" in light of a national gun violence epidemic.

There have been 27 school shootings so far this year with injuries or deaths, according to Education Week's database.

In a statement, Gash included a screen grab of a description of the weapons, which included an "AR-15 type" rifle.

Barr, without the consent of the club's board, removed the Facebook post that included the link and said Thursday he would consult with club officials regarding a decision on whether the raffle would proceed.

Lauren Beth Gash
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