MECKLENBURG COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A Mecklenburg County Sheriff's campaign fundraiser caused outrage on Thursday. His fundraising raffle was canceled because of what was being giving away: guns.
Sheriff Irwin Carmichael was planning on raffling off more than a dozen firearms for his re-election campaign. The drawing was set for this Saturday.
It was still up on his Twitter page Thursday morning, but after tweets condemning it, the Sheriff canceled the raffle.
FOX 46 attempted to talk to the Sheriff, but he is out of town and only issued the following statement.
My heartfelt condolences go out to the victims and families of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In the wake of this tragedy, I am cancelling Saturday’s gun raffle event and all raffle tickets purchased will be refunded. As the elected Sheriff, I fully understand the difference between responsible gun ownership and senseless gun violence and holding a gun raffle would not serve to advance the values close to my heart or the principles of my Office. I am currently at the Major County Sheriffs’ Association Conference in Washington, DC.
But one Charlotte mother says the gun raffle was in poor taste no matter the timing.
"I was frankly horrified. I couldn't believe regardless the events of the week are, that a sitting sheriff would be raffling off guns and not just handguns but these are semi-automatic weapons," said Elizabeth Ouzts who has a daughter in middle school.
While others like the general manager at Blackstone says the raffle promoted responsible gun ownership.
"That's what our business is all about. Inside of this environment it's a lot of fun to target shoot with a riffle that you don't have to reload every shot. There's no manual reload. It maximizes the amount of time you can spend just shooting," said Nathan Davis.
FOX 46 Charlotte reached out to Garry McFadden who is also running for Mecklenburg County Sheriff. He did not respond to our requests.