BERGENFIELD, N.J. (CBS/AP) — A New Jersey police union has canceled a raffle that listed a semi-automatic rifle and a shotgun as prizes. Bergenfield police say a state statute bars giving away weapons as prizes and the event has been canceled.
NorthJersey.com reports Det. Dave Tortora, president of Bergenfield PBA Local 309, said Thursday the firearms raffle was a way to help his 46-member organization raise money.
“After consultation with Police Administration, we believe it to be in the best interest of the public, Bergenfield Police Dept., and members of PBA local 309, to withdraw the raffles for the weapons,” Tortora told NorthJersey.com. ” We understand the gravity of these weapons and the means to which they’ve been used. We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended as a result of this raffle.”
Bergenfield police say anyone who purchased tickets will be refunded.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office became involved after a NorthJersey.com reporter was seeking comment about the legality of the raffle. Tortora apologized in his statement Thursday.
The union was offering two guns as a raffle prize to help fund a scholarship for Bergenfield High School students.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)