Political Party Time

Maryland delegate raffles off two assault rifles in fundraiser

While the national debate on gun control continues, Maryland Del. Don Dwyer, a conservative Republican from Anne Arundel County, is making his position known by holding a fundraiser and raffling off two high-powered assault rifles.

The event, known as "Delegate Dwyer's Gun Rights and Liberty BBQ Gun Raffle, Auction & Strategy Meeting," takes place on May 11 at Kurtz Beach in Pasadena, Md., but the weapons won't be handed out until July 6. Lucky winners will either receive an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, the same weapon used in the Aurora, Colo. shootings, or an AK-47 assault rifle.

MORE: Sunlight's research tool kit on the gun debate.

Tickets for the raffle cost just $5, the maximum price allowed under Maryland state laws; however, an individual can purchase up to $50 worth of tickets. Maryland State Board of Elections director Jim DeMarinis confirmed that the fundraising auction was a legal activity, though he noted such events are placed under rigid restrictions.

According to the invitation, "This Fundraiser will benifit [sic] the re-election campaign of pro gun rights legislator, Don H. Dwyer, Jr. as well as an organized effort to defeat the anti gun legislators across the state who voted for and supported SB281."

The bill in question is Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's "Firearm Safety Act of 2013," which would actually ban both of the weapons that Dwyer hopes to give away. The measure has already passed both the House and Senate, and O'Malley is expected to sign it into law soon. Dwyer voted against the bill.

Party Time is awaiting comment from Del. Dwyer's office.

The six-term lawmaker also attracted news coverage last summer when he crashed a boat in the Magothy River, seriously injuring himself and six other people. Dwyer admitted to drinking before the incident. His trial is scheduled for May, according to the Baltimore Sun.

It's not the first time that a lawmaker has mixed guns and fundraising. Last summer we told you about Missouri state Rep. John McCaherty's raffle, also for an AR-15 rifle. McCaherty, a Republican, won re-election and, as you can see from his Open States profile, did quite well in the fundraising department.

(Photo credit: Office of Del. Don H. Dwyer, Jr.)