LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon — A Oregon priest says he plans to destroy an assault rifle he won in a girls softball raffle.
About two weeks ago the booster club supporting the Oregon’s Big League Girls’ All-Star Softball team raffled off an AR-15 to raise money for a tournament in California.
It was a controversial raffle item given the violence across the country over the last several weeks.
Reverend Jeremy Lucas tells KPTV, when he heard about the giveaway he was disturbed.
Lucas learned there was no way to stop the raffle, so he spent $3,000 in discretionary funds from Christ Church Episcopal parish to buy 150 raffle tickets in an attempt to win the rifle.
He learned last week that he won, and is now working with local artists to find a way to either destroy the rifle or repurpose it into a symbol of taking what he calls “some kind of action, no matter how small it is, to make a difference in the world.”
“This one gun will never be used to kill anyone in a school, in a nightclub, anywhere else,” Lucas said. “It will never be used to terrorize anyone, it will never be used for anything destructive. That’s the one thing I can do.”
The pastor said he has gotten backlash over his decision and has been criticized by people who say he’s making a political stand on guns.
Lucas claims that this isn’t about politics for him, though, but rather it’s about faith and doing what he can to make the world a better place.
He added that the softball coach and team mom disagreed with him over the decision to destroy the gun but described their conversation as respectful.
Lucas said he’s glad the team got to go on their trip and he wishes them well.