By Brad Segall

By Brad Segall, Dray Clark

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — The sheriff in Chester County, Pa. is defending a plan to auction off an assault-style rifle at a charity event in Downingtown in two weeks.

The raffle was organized by the Chester County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, and the proceeds will help pay for programs in the department’s dog units.

Sheriff Carolyn Welsh understands the concerns but says the AR-15 is a legal weapon, it’s a legal event, and the winner must undergo a federal background check.

West Chester mayor Carolyn Comitta, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, indicates she is somewhat receptive to the raffle:

“So I applaud Sheriff Welsh for requiring the background checks, and I thought, well, it’s the perfect example of what we should be doing under law.”

She hopes this continues to push the conversation over background checks forward, saying too many guns are sold in Pennsylvania without those checks.

Two guns will be raffled off during the event. They were donated to the deputies’ association by a county resident.

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