AR-15's "Big Brother" raffled off in Waunakee under protest - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

AR-15's "Big Brother" raffled off in Waunakee under protest

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WAUNAKEE (WKOW) -- An assault rifle was raffled off Wednesday night at the Friends of NRA Banquet and Dinner in Waunakee as protesters gathered outside the event. 

The fundraiser was held at Rex's InnKeeper in Waunakee. 

It's a fundraiser that's been going on for years, but after recent mass shootings, this year's event was met with protesters because of one item on the menu. 

"The AR-15's 'Big Brother'," said one Waunakee High School student who stood outside in protest. 

The weapon is similar to that of the notorious gun used by a teen to murder 17 people in a Parkland, Florida. 

The gun is labeled on the raffle flyer as a Diamondback DB10 7.62 NATO/.308. Organizers say it was part of a package that was selected nationally back in January. 

But protesters believed the gun should've been removed from the raffle list. 

"It's graphic, but I prefer not to see my son blown to bits in his elementary school. He's seven," said mother Brittani Phelps who was seen across the street from the event, protesting with her son. 

However, fundraiser organizer Brian Downey said he, too, cares about student safety. 

"I have a son who's in school in Madison and nothing is more important to me than that. But I really want to make him safe, not just talk and wave placards about it," Downey said. 

Phelps admits, the protesters and fundraiser attendees have different views on how best to protect kids in schools.

Many of the protesters held signs as they lined Century Avenue across the street from the event. Some of them read "How Many More," "Never Again," "Books Not Bullets," and "We Don't Wauna-Assault Rifles." 

There were counter-protesters, too. One man drove into town and joined protesters on the sidewalk as he wore a helmet, ammunition, and an assault rifle strapped around him. Another counter-protester held a sign that said, "Liberalism Is A Mental Disorder." 

Some of those voicing their concerns about the gun that was raffled off, included students from Waunakee High School. 

"We could walk to our school from here. We're undergoing ALICE training currently, so we're learning how to deal with active shooters during the week when they're auctioning off weapons used to kill students," said Ben Wagner, a student at Waunakee High. 

Downey didn't seem surprised by the protest but said the auction items, including the AR-15's "Big Brother," was set in stone earlier in the year and under state gaming laws, once it was advertised, organizers couldn't change the selection. 

"We'd be violating the law," he added. 

But for some, that's hard to understand. 

"If my son is dead because of that weapon, I could care less about the legality of what's going on in that building today," said Phelps. 

The winner of the AR-15 style rifle will need to pass a background check in order to claim the prize.

The proceeds from the event go to several local programs such as firearm safety and others. 

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