AR-15 pulled from Republican fundraiser

COLVILLE, Wash - The Stevens County Republican Central Committee has decided not to raffle off an AR-15 at an upcoming fundraiser, due to the shooting last week at a Florida high school.

The committee was planning to give the rifle as a prize for its Lincoln Day Dinner on March 24th. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers' attendance as the keynote speaker at the event drew criticism after an article on the topic appeared on Tuesday.

Tuesday afternoon, the Stevens County Republican Central Committee sent this statement: 

We want the public to understand that the plan to once again offer this popular item was made prior to the terrible incident in Parkland, Florida, and our initial public advertisement of this event began several days before the shooting.    We grieve with the community and the nation.   We stand by the 2nd amendment, but we also recognized that in the current environment, publicizing a means to acquire a semi-automatic AR-15 has the potential to insert more separation into our political discourse.  Therefore, we have decided we will not be including this firearm at our event; instead, the winner of our final door price will receive a gift certificate to a local business.   

Rep. McMorris Rodgers' office said Tuesday, "she is in full support of the committee's decision not to auction off the firearm.