A youth sports organization is raffling off a semi-automatic weapon to help its cheerleading and football teams

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A youth football and cheer organization in rural Ohio has sparked controversy over a fundraising raffle offering a high powered AM-15 semi-automatic rifle.In the wake of multiple mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, several parents have spoken out against the raffle tickets.The president of the organization said that parents were allowed to opt-out of the rifle raffle and sell tickets for a gift basket raffle instead.Due to the recent controversy, the president said the organization is considering doing away with the rifle raffle entirely for future fundraisers.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories. Parents of elementary school cheerleaders and football players in New Richmond, Ohio, have been asked to sell raffle tickets for a powerful semi-automatic rifle to pay for some of the team’s expenses. Each parent was asked to sell 10 raffle tickets worth $10 each. Five of those raffle tickets went towards a generic gift basket, but the other 10 went towards an AM-15 optic ready semi-automatic rifle. The rifle is a close relative to the more commonly used AR-15, which has been used in mass shootings around the world and has been singled out by activists looking to regulate assault-style weapons. The sports organization, called Junior Lions Football, fields elementary football teams with players between the ages of five and 12, as well as kindergarten through sixth-grade cheer squads. Parents of these players have sold the gun raffle tickets for the past four years, but in the wake of multiple mass shootings, including those this month in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 29 people dead, some of the parents have started speaking out. “Say one of the kids in the high school got a hold of it — got the AR-15 or AM-15 and shot up a school with it, and I’m the one that sold the raffle ticket to his dad?” One of those parents is Heather Chilton. In an interview with Fox 19 Now, Chilton explained how her excitement to sign her 7-year-old daughter up for cheerleading was shot down when she learned she would have to

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