A Bixby youth football team took a shot at raising money by raffling off a 9 millimeter Glock handgun.
It paid off big time, but in hindsight, the team says they may never do it again.
Boys, aged 9 and 10, sold the raffle tickets door-to-door with their parents this summer, and parents sold them at work and online. The team says it didn't receive any complaints, but still wants to avoid any controversy.
Dan Rice's 4th grade team is fierce on the field. It's the critics off the field he wants to avoid.
"I don't want any negative or positive publicity for my kids, I just want to come out here and coach football," Rice said.
Rice's team sold raffle tickets this summer for a 9 millimeter Glock handgun.
Each ticket featured the Glock logo, but the prize was actually a $500 gift card to GunTech, in Bixby, to buy a Glock or anything else in the store.
"I heard it raised a lot of money for the kids, and ultimately, that's the goal, is to raise as much money for the football team that you possibly can," Rice said.
The league president said he found out about the raffle prize after several tickets had already been sold.
"All these youth coaches are going above and beyond for these kids, and for one person to think maybe it's not right, it's not up to us to make that decision, it's up to the parents on that team to make that decision," said Jason Clark. "It's not up to us to judge them how they want to go about doing it."
The league investigated, looked into liability issues, had a board meeting over it, and ultimately decided to let the team finish the raffle.
"Not one complaint, in fact, quite the opposite. I've had people contact me saying, 'Dan, why aren't you selling me a ticket?'" Rice said.
The team sold 926 tickets and raised $3,800 to help pay for pads, jerseys and other equipment, so each player has the exact same as the next.
"My concern is my kids, and I think we did a great job raising money for our team," Rice said.
Rice said his team raffled a hunting rifle two years ago and did well. They tried a golf club last year, and it wasn't nearly as successful, so they went back to the gun appeal.
We called a product liability lawyer, who said he sees no liability issues in this situation; it's more of a public perception issue.
The man who won the raffle passed his background check and got a competition-grade Glock.