(KMOV) -- A Missouri lawmaker is raffling off an assault weapon to supporters and giving them titles such as “sniper level” support which is stirring controversy.
"We've had other events when we gave away a handgun, a shot gun, it just happens this time it's an AR-15,” State Senator Brian Nieves is advertising his fundraiser on Facebook, offering the gun for those who want to donate money for his re-election.
The senator makes no apologies about it. State Senator Nieves who represents Franklin County and far west St. Louis County, has long been a strong and vocal supporter of gun owners.
He said he simply is looking for a way to raise some money with some very colorful names for big donors such as sharpshooter, marksman, and sniper level.
Nieves said it’s intended to be like any other fundraiser but this one happens to be offering an AR-15 assault weapon to one donor.
On his Facebook page, Senator Nieves states he believes every family should have something like an AR-15 in their home and know how to use it.
Donations of $1,000 or more at the October 12 event in Pacific will give supporters tickets for the raffle.
Nieves was in his capitol office on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s veto session, which also happens to have an override vote on a bill that would nullify federal guns laws in Missouri.
“Let’s clarify that whoever wins the AR – 15, they will have to have a background check. That will not be from me but from a gun dealer,” Nieves said.
Nieves also beats back any criticism of the giveaway, which some on the left are suggesting is not only wrong but may also be trying to send a message on the eve of a vote on guns.