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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Want to win a gun? Georgia sports store says: 'Just vote'

A store near Atlanta has raised legal eyebrows – because its promotion could be seen as an enticement to vote.

Image: Shotgun via Shutterstock

WANT A CHANCE to win a rifle or a handgun? A sporting goods store near Atlanta has an easy way to get hold of one: vote.

Adventure Outdoors is behind the unusual promotion – which caught the attention of the Secretary of State’s office this week and drew a complaint from a state senator who said it may break the law.

Georgia law prohibits anyone from giving or receiving money or gifts in exchange for voting, and felony charges could be brought if the law were broken, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said in a statement.

Eight billboards for the store urge people to bring in their “I voted” sticker to enter a raffle for a Glock handgun or Browning rifle.

Kemp’s office warned the store owner that offering the raffle only to people who voted may be violating the law.

Store owner Jay Wallace said the raffle was open to anyone, even those who don’t vote.

“Getting people involved is what it’s all about,” Wallace said. “I would encourage other businesses to do the same thing.”

No action will be taken as long as Wallace allows anyone to enter the contest, said Jared Thomas, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office.

“Should they violate what they told our office they would do, then that will be taken into account and actions will be taken accordingly,” Thomas said.

Democratic state senator Vincent Fort of Atlanta filed a complaint yesterday, saying businesses are not even allowed under the law to offer free food or drinks to voters.

“Now that that they’ve expanded it and allow all customers to participate, I think it’s a legal raffle,” Fort said. “I don’t have any objections to it if it complies with the law.”

Reaction to the raffle has been “almost 100 per cent positive,” Wallace said.

“We received some almost slanderous emails,” he added. “I would say they’re on the side of not liking guns, to put it mildly.”

- Jeff Martin

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