- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2001

Some Carroll County Republicans quietly handed out a pistol and shotgun Wednesday at a July Fourth fund-raiser, in sharp contrast to the protests and national media coverage generated by a similar event last year in Westminster, Md.
A few dozen supporters, clutching tickets for the second annual gun-raffle fund-raiser, turned out at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 467 in Westminster. No protesters showed up.
"The Second Amendment was not under attack as much this year," said organizer Scott Hollenbeck of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee.
The first raffle, held in February 2000, raised about $15,000 for the local GOP — six times what raffle organizers had expected — while irking Democratic lawmakers and gun-control advocates around the state and the country.
It coincided with a proposal by Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat, to mandate trigger locks on all new guns sold to the public. The governor also advocated the phasing in of built-in locks on all guns.
The General Assembly passed the governor's bill.
Also last year, Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., a Democrat, proposed banning private ownership of handguns. His plan, which gained no support, prompted the Arlington Rifle and Pistol Club of Carroll County to hold another gun raffle, this one as a form of protest.
Mr. Hollenbeck's group this year sold about 2,000 of the available 5,000 tickets for $5 apiece. He estimates that after expenses, his group will clear $8,500.
"We could never do this with a banquet-type fund-raiser," Mr. Hollenbeck said.
U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, Maryland Republican, and State's Attorney Terry Barnes drew the winning tickets at Wednesday's event in this rural county about 60 miles northwest of the District.
"This is not about guns," Mr. Bartlett told the crowd. "This is about rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment of the Constitution."
James Reter, 69, of Westminster, won the Beretta 9 mm pistol.
"I've been thinking about buying one for my own protection, and now I don't have to," said Mr. Reter, a landlord. "I have to go around and collect rent and so forth, so it could come in handy."
Jose Pineda Jr., a former commander of the VFW post in Westminster, won the Beretta 12-gauge semiautomatic shotgun.
Mr. Hollenbeck estimated the pistol is worth $500 and the shotgun is worth $700. Organizers used some money raised through the raffle to pay for the prizes.
Gun locks and safety data will be provided to the winners. Both winners had the option to take a cash prize, but opted to take the weapons.
"In my opinion, this is very irresponsible," Tierney Siegel, president of the Montgomery County chapter of the Million Mom March, told The Times after the event was announced in March.
"They certainly could raffle off a car," she said.
A third gun raffle is being planned for next Independence Day.
This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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