Troy church gives away gun during Sunday raffle - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Troy church gives away gun during Sunday raffle

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TROY, N.Y. – A local church hosted a gun giveaway on Sunday.

One church member won a firearm during the giveaway hosted by Grace Baptist Church and sponsored by the Oakwood Trading Post.

In interviews leading up to the raffle, Pastor John Koletas said he wants to support the right to bear arms.

"We believe legal gun owners and hunters have been attacked viciously by politicians and the media," he said.

The pastor says the Smith and Wesson M&P 15 is legally modified by the State of New York and to give a legal gun away is not a crime. Only a qualified attendee was eligible to win, meaning they were subject to a federal background check, be at least 18 years old, and had to provide a valid driver's license.

The gun was not handed over during the service, but the background check and transaction will be handled this week at the Oakwood Trading Post, according to a church flyer.

The giveaway has been so controversial; Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin said he has received a threat for speaking at the church during the event.

"The phone call was really odd," he said in a previous interview. "Let's just say screaming on the phone; a lot of swear words. I returned his call and that's when the threat was made."

Troy Police said the threats were made via e-mail and voicemail.

McLaughlin said the caller said he should be fired from his position and shot. Troy Police said that threat is not credible.

"The left is going crazy over this because it's everything they don't like," McLaughlin said. "Which is God, church, guns."

The politician said he never meant to be caught up in the fire storm of the debate.

"They asked me to speak at a church in support of the Second Amendment of the Constitution," he said. "I'm not speaking because they're giving away a gun. They just happen to be giving away a gun."

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