Florida Senator hosts gun giveaway following Orlando Massacre
A Florida Republican state senator is giving away a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle as a prize.
The Facebook competition set up by Senator Greg Evers offers a semi-automatic rifle to the winner on Independence day.
He announced the giveaway barely a week after the Orlando massacre which left over 100 people killed or injured by the gunman, Omar Mateen.
The rifle prize is mechanically different to the one used by Mateen, but had similar design features. Other mass shooters have used rifles that are also very similar.
Many people are outraged at the competition. The original post has since been removed by Facebook for promoting graphic violence, but Evers is still running the contest.
When he announced the contest on Monday, Evers said he would be giving away the rifle because “terrorist incidents are on the rise.”
The Pulse nightclub is 5 hours away from the 1st congressional district that Evers is seeking to represent.
The winner will have to be 18 and go through required background and security checks, but all they have to do to become the owner of a rifle is share and like the senator’s facebook page.
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The gun will have the second amendment engraved in a metal plate on it. A winner will be chosen on American Independence day.
Evers has served in the Florida Legislature since 2001 and has been involved in the senate since 2010. He has tried repeatedly to pass a law to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry firearms on campus.
He has also passed the “Pop Tart Law” which prevents schools from punishing children for playing with simulated weapons.
Greg Evers is a favourite with the National Rifle Association and was given an A-plus rating for the past 15 years.
Evers will be running against four other candidates for the seat in Florida. His primary rival is Republican Matt Gaetz who also has an A+ grade from the NRA. Gaetz said about the rifle competition: “This is a campaign gimmick. Instead of giving away something that benefited one, he should have found a way to make all Floridians safer”
Tennessee state representative Andy Holt is also giving away two rifles during an event on Saturday with candidates for that states 8th congressional district.