State senator challenges gun raffle promotion

A Cobb County businessman is under attack for promoting a raffle offering people a chance to win a Browning rifle or a Glock handgun if they vote this fall.

State Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, filed a complaint Tuesday with the Secretary of State’s office hoping to end the promotion, but the store owner is unapologetic.

“It’s just getting people involved in the process,” said Jay Wallace, owner and operator of Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna. “I don’t understand what his problem is. Is he afraid somebody’s going to get involved in our political system?”

Wallace has eight billboards from Midtown through north metro Atlanta promoting the raffle, and he says interest is high.

“I know I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from people telling me thumbs-up, that they like it,” he said. Fort “is the only person I’ve heard from that has not liked it.”

Fort says the promotion violates state law prohibiting anyone from offering money or gifts in exchange for voting or registering to vote.

“I sent a letter to the secretary of state this morning, asking him to look into it and put a stop to the raffle,” Fort said. “These billboards are prominently positioned all over the metro area, and I’m surprised the secretary of state didn’t intervene earlier.”

Four years ago, that office put a quick stop to shops offering free coffee and doughnuts to those showing proof that they voted, he said.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp was not available Tuesday afternoon, and his office offered no comment.

This is the second time this fall Adventure Outdoors has gained notoriety for a promotion. Last month, the store teamed up with D. Geller and Son to give away a gun with the purchase of a diamond.

Wallace says he is not telling participants how to vote but would like them to consider the issues. He predicted the complaint won’t hold up.

“This is not any more of an inducement than an ‘I Voted’ sticker,” he said.

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