Third-graders in Missouri selling raffle tickets for AR-15
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A group of third-graders in Missouri are selling raffle tickets for an AR-15 — the type of rifle used in the deadly Florida shooting last week.

The third-graders are selling the raffle tickets to raise money for their traveling baseball team, The Kansas City Star reported.

The coach of the baseball team, Levi Patterson, said the idea for the raffle was thought of before the shooting occurred last week at a Florida high school.


Patterson said he thought about changing the item for the raffle, but decided to "turn it into a positive thing" after "getting the hate."

After the Star published its report, Patterson said he mistakenly said critics on social media were part of a hate group. He added he knows they are concerned and have “every right to stand up for what they believe in.”

Patterson said the team has received many donations since the Florida shooting, according to the Star.

“Gun raffles have been going on for years," Patterson wrote in a comment on Facebook. "Evil has and will always exist. Our hearts break for those involved, and we do not take that lightly.”

He said on Facebook last week that the team isn't forcing the children to sell raffle tickets if they are uncomfortable doing so.

The rifle was offered for the raffle by a father of one of the players.

Last week, a gunman opened fire at a high school in Florida, killing 17 people and wounding 14 others.

The shooting has sparked renewed calls for gun control, as students who survived the shooting demand action from lawmakers.