On July 24, the Kendall County Republican Party is holding a gun raffle featuring a Smith & Wesson 5.56/.223, a high-powered semi automatic weapon nearly identical to the Smith & Wesson M&P15 that was used to take seven lives in Highland Park during the devastating massacre on July 4. Recently, news broke that GOP gubernatorial nominee Darren Bailey also raffled off a Smith & Wesson AR-15 in 2019 as part of a campaign fundraiser. The Democratic Party of Illinois and the Kendall County Democratic Party jointly condemn the use of this assault weapon in the gun raffle and call on Illinois Republicans to cease the use of assault weapons in political fundraisers.
“Our nation and our state are facing an epidemic of gun violence and the horrific attack in Highland Park is a tragic reminder that we have so much more work to do,” said Democratic Party of Illinois Chair Rep. Robin Kelly. “It is inappropriate and offensive for the Kendall County Republican Party to raffle off an assault weapon at a political fundraiser, especially a gun so similar to the one used to take seven innocent lives in Highland Park just one week ago. We call on the Illinois Republican Party and the Kendall County Republican Party to show some compassion and common sense by calling off this gun raffle and ceasing the use of assault weapons in future political fundraisers and other events.”
“As a teacher, and as a resident of Kendall County, the idea of raffling off an assault weapon to someone in my community is appalling,” said Democratic Party of Kendall County Chair Brooke Shanley. “It is just plain wrong to use a gun this similar to the one used in the Highland Park shooting for a political fundraiser. We do not oppose responsible gun ownership, but we also do not need more military-style assault weapons in Kendall County. We ask the Kendall County Republican Party to cancel this gun raffle out of respect to the people of Highland Park and out of respect for our community and its safety.”