New Mexico charity embraces firearms raffle

Nov 24, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of a year-end charity gun raffle in southern New Mexico say they are better off after separating from United Way Worldwide, which objected to the annual firearms sell-off. Alamogordo-based Thrive in Southern New Mexico describes itself as the leading fundraising organization for local nonprofits in a rural, two-county area. Executive Director Stephanie Hale says the charity keeps more funds in the local community after dropping its affiliation with United Way, and that its firearms raffle pays for annual operating expenses. Miranda Viscoli of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence says the raffle undermines public safety by distributing guns into the community, including military-style rifles. Thrive in Southern New Mexico briefly suspended publicity for its "Ultimate Firearms Raffle" of more than 100 guns in the aftermath of recent mass shootings.