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Forum staff reports, Published January 30 2013

VIDEO: West Fargo hockey group criticized for gun raffle

WEST FARGO – A hockey fundraiser here is taking flak from the national media for wanting to raise money with a gun raffle.

CNN, CBS radio and Sports Illustrated have all contacted West Fargo Hockey Association officials, wondering why the group would raffle off firearms while the nation is embroiled in a debate about gun control, according to a WDAY news report.

“I knew it was going to blow up, but I didn’t think it would blow up to this magnitude,” said Mike Prochnow, a West Fargo hockey board member and event organizer.

Two hundred guns are up for grabs, and the association is hoping to raise $100,000. Hockey officials told WDAY that the guns were purchased in August, well before the December shooting at the Newtown, Mass., elementary school.

Prochnow said the program is in dire need of funding for new ice, as kids are consistently practicing as early as 6 a.m. and as late as 10 p.m.

The raffle will occur at 5:30 p.m. on March 15 at the Speedway Event Center in West Fargo. Only about 400 of the 4,000 total tickets remain. According to the hockey association’s website, the guns will be distributed by Scheels, and the raffle winners must meet state and federal firearm requirements to receive or possess a firearm.