PA State Senator Hosts Gun Raffle for High School’s Football Team

FILE PHOTO: Semi-automatic handguns are displayed at shop in New Castle, PA. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

By Sean Kitchen

July 14, 2023

This isn’t the first time Cedar Cliff’s football team held a gun raffle.

Standing inside DnJ Precision, a Cumberland County gun store on Thursday, State Sen. Mike Regan (R-York) picked numbers out of a bingo cage as part of a gun raffle for the Cedar Cliff High School football team. At one point during the live video, Regan can be seen showing off the grand prize, a Colt Python .357 magnum. 

Regan, who graduated from Cedar Cliff in 1980, quipped about his age, saying, “This gun was popular back in my day.”

“It’s not as pretty as Vanna White is,” Dave Ellis, the owner of DnJ Precision, can be heard saying on the livestream after he retrieved the gun. 

According to the football team’s Facebook page, the guns that were given away included a Colt Python .357, a Sig Sauer P365X, a S&W M&P Equalizer, Mossberg & Sons Patriot Vortex and a Winchester SXP 12 gauge shotgun.

This isn’t the first time the Cedar Cliff High School football team came under scrutiny for hosting this sort of raffle. 

In 2021, the Patriot News reported that the booster club for the high school held a similar fundraiser during Suicide Prevention Week and gave away 5 guns. These types of fundraisers are meant to raise money to cover equipment costs.

At the time, Diana Thompson, a mental health professional and mother of two children who live in the West Shore School District, said, “I cannot support something that is potentially putting guns in more homes of the teenagers I see, knowing the stats … they clearly didn’t consult a mental health professional in this.”

Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate are currently sitting on two gun safety bills House Democrats passed back in the spring.

The bills include Extreme Risk Protection Order legislation, which are commonly referred to as “Red Flag” laws, and universal background checks. 

Extreme risk protection orders allow family members or law enforcement to apply for an order through the courts that would temporarily take firearms from someone if they are deemed as a threat to themselves or someone else. 

Universal background checks would require background checks on all gun sales, which would close the gun show loophole. Under current law, it is legal for someone to buy a gun at a gun show and not have to go through a federal background check.     

 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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