Idaho private school moves forward with AR-15 raffle despite opposition

POST FALLS, Idaho - A private Idaho school is standing behind their decision to raffle an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle for a school fundraiser. 

Some people are criticizing the Classical Christian Academy (CCA) in Post Falls, saying it's wrong of them to raffle the same model of firearm used during the mass shooting at a Florida High School last week. CCA declined an interview with KXLY and directed us to an online statement that noted they have no plans to change their fundraiser, despite criticism. 

The release reads, in part,

"We live in a state and a nation where the right to protect ourselves and our families is protected by the second amendment. There are approximately 300 million guns owned by responsible citizens in the United States. We understand that honest people of good will can disagree, and still have the same goal."

Post Falls resident and AR-15 owner William Barnhill said he supports the school's decision as long as they're being responsible. 

"If a school wants to raffle off an AR-15, TVs, whatever, it's not like they're raffling it off to the children. Those are for the parents to use, you know, to be able to take advantage of and be able to help their school as well," Barnhill said. 

The AR-15 is one of four prizes for the raffle, which also includes winning a television, cash, or tuition to CCA. According to a post on Facebook, the gun is worth $1,800 and includes a precision Noveske barrel and other custom parts. The $50 tickets are being sold by adults to adults, according to a statement by CCA.

CCA is one of many schools and organizations across the region and nation facing this decision. This month, the Stevens County Republican Central Committee opted not to include an AR-15 as a prize for an upcoming fundraiser. The organization issued a statement saying "[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."

Read the academy's full statement here.