ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (TheBlaze/AP) — A New Mexico affiliate of United Way is resuming raffles of firearms to raise money.
The Alamogordo Daily News reported that the United Way of Otero County confirmed last week that it received permission from United Way Worldwide to continue raffle sales.
The organization had been selling 2017 calendars with a raffle entry ticket attached for $50.
Buyers had the chance to be entered into a twice-weekly firearms raffle. The firearms being raffled include shotguns, handguns and an AR-15 rifle.
United Way of Otero County had suspended the raffle earlier this month after a complaint letter by New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence co-president Miranda Viscoli.
“Basically putting 104 firearms back into a state where gun violence is destroying our communities,” she said, according to the Daily News. “It’s unconscionable. It has nothing to do with what United Way is about. They’re paving the road for other United Way branches to hold raffles.”
Western True Value Store Manager Kerry Maupin told the Daily News the raffle "helps a lot of people. It’s our tradition. It’s our heritage.”
“I think they realized that there were a lot of charters nationwide that were doing gun raffles,” Maupin added to the paper, adding that "maybe instead of everyone else bowing down to her beliefs and opinion, she needs to back down. We fought hard and the people spoke up.”
United Way Worldwide spokesman Ryan Powers declined to comment, calling the matter an "internal membership discussion."
Winners must undergo background checks, which gun-control advocates say are flawed.