The National Rifle Association Foundation is raffling off guns in school gyms to raise money.
A charity arm of the National Rifle Association is holding gun raffles in schools across the country in an effort to raise cash, the Washington Post reported on Monday.
News of the fundraisers — during which a group called Friends of NRA raffles off everything from semiautomatic rifles to high-capacity magazines — come as a spate of mass shootings across the country has increased both opposition to the NRA and support for gun control measures.
The news also comes amid reports that the NRA is in dire financial straits amid mismanagement and grift by the NRA's leadership, which has been compounded by waning support of the organization in the wake of mass shootings.
According to the Washington Post, proceeds from Friends of NRA events, like the raffles taking place in schools, go toward the NRA Foundation, which gives out grants for "youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, firearms and marksmanship training, and safety," according to the NRA Foundation's website. Events like the Friends of NRA raffles earned the NRA Foundation $33 million last year, according to the Washington Post.
Parents are up in arms about the fact that dangerous weapons are being sold around children.
"It's obscene that they have had guns inside our gym," Shannon Myers, a mother of a student from a school in Kentucky where the NRA was raffling off guns, told the Washington Post. "The more I looked into it, the more I realized they are having these events all over the place. Not just here in our little town, but in little towns all over the country."
The NRA claimed to the Washington Post that "only a small fraction of Friends of NRA events take place at schools."
And that "small fraction" seems to be getting smaller, as people protest the NRA's attempts to hold gun raffles in their community schools.
Parents successfully stopped the NRA from holding a raffle at Muhlenberg County High School in Kentucky, where Friends of NRA had held raffles in the past.
People swarmed an August Facebook post that Friends of NRA used to announce the raffle at Muhlenberg County High School, to protest the location.
"How absolutely offensive and tone deaf to continue to hold this event in a school when your organization’s national leadership actively works against measures that could keep children safer in their schools," a Facebook user by the name of Emily Anne Lee wrote in a comment on the post. "As a parent and a teacher I am disgusted but not surprised by one more example of the NRA’s utter lack of care for human life."
Polls have found that the NRA's popularity is dropping.
However, Trump is still swayed by the group, recently dropping his promise to pass gun control measures after two mass shootings over the summer in Texas and Ohio.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.