The local party sent out its e-newsletter late last week advertising the raffle. On the third page of the seven-page document, a large illustration of the gun appears with the headline “Help Pima GOP get out the vote and maybe help yourself to a new Glock .40.”
The winner of the gun will also receive a case, three 12-round magazines and grips for the firearm.
“Tickets will go quickly for this firearm!” the blurb in the newsletter warns.
The $1,250 raised from the raffle tickets will go toward get out the vote efforts for the party.
The gun is a Glock 23, an updated model of the Glock 19 Jared Loughner used during his January 8, 2011 shooting spree that killed six and injured 13 others, including Giffords.
“I think it sends a terrible message,” she told Raw Story. “I think it’s an incredible lack of sensitivity toward Gabrielle Giffords and all the victims and families of the victims in Tucson. This was an unprecedented tragedy for Tucson and for our nation, and we are just stunned that this group of people would think that this was appropriate and something that was worthy of doing. There’s so many items that could be raffled off to raise money.”
Pima County GOP did not respond to requests for comment.
Brian Miller, the immediate past chair of the Pima County GOP, told Talking Points Memo that while he has raffled off guns as fundraisers before, to do so now is insensitive and inappropriate.
“There’s a woman who has a bullet in the brain and who everybody is wishing a full recovery,” Miller said. “I don’t think that raffling off a firearm right now is probably the right way to go.”
According to USA Today, the Federal Election Commission is expected to allow Giffords to use campaign money to make the security improvements around her house recommended by the Capitol Police.
Pima County GOP, the Arizona Republican Party and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ office did not respond to Raw Story’s requests for comment as of publication time.
This story has been edited since its original publication to include new information.
Kase Wickman is a reporter for Raw Story. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University and grew up in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, Village Voice Media, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle and on NPR, among others. She lives in New York City and tweets from @kasewickman.
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