Gun Raffle Challenged in Vote Campaign

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A Georgia hunting store is hoping a gun raffle promotion will encourage people to cast their ballots on election day.

The raffle for a Glock and a Browning rifle is advertised on eight billboards around Smyrna, Ga. The promotion prompted State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, to file a complaint that it violates state law on providing money or gifts in exchange for voting, which is a felony.

"Vote. Win a Rifle," the billboards say.

Jay Wallace, owner of Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna, said this is the third presidential election he has run the promotion. No purchase or proof of voting is required in order to receive a raffle ticket, Wallace said, making it perfectly legal.

"What we want to do is we want people to get involved in the election process. It's about learning who the candidates are and learning the issues," he said. "I think this election, now more than ever, is important for people to understand what's at stake. We want to get people talking."

The Georgia Secretary of State's Office said it had spoken to Wallace to clarify his promotion and that he agreed to post a sign in his store saying the raffle is open to anyone over the age of 18 whether or not they vote.

"Everybody loves it," he said. "We've had some folks who don't like guns who have sent nasty emails, but other than that it has been positively accepted."