Local candidate learns his gun raffle is illegal in FL

Palm Harbor, Florida -- A candidate in a local commissioners race is making headlines for raffling off a rifle, but that's not legal in Florida.

It's big. It's bad. "It's a Smith and Wesson," says Macho Liberti, Pinellas County District Four commissioner candidate, Macho Liberti. "I'm a pro-gun candidate."

We're talking about this AR-15 -- a rifle that Liberti was raffling off at Palm Harbor's House of Beer Saturday night if you contribute to his campaign.

"You'll come in and be given a ticket," says Liberti.

But digging deeper we found out that Liberti could actually be breaking the law. Raffles like the one he wanted to host are illegal in the state of Florida, except for 501(c) charities.

"Did you know what you were doing was illegal?" we asked him.

"Not intentionally," says Liberti. "I knew there were some rules, but I am more than willing to admit my mistakes."

"Before where we did raffles and they weren't 501(c), but I think sometimes a blind eye is turned when its charity, and this being a political thing, there's more scrutiny and I absolutely want to follow the law," he added.

Liberti says after we approached him, he approached the Attorney General's Office to make things right. The raffle now will be a drawing and open to anyone that walks through the door Saturday night.

However, the drawing is still shooting up some controversy. Some of his opponents are calling it a "publicity stunt" and "insensitive" in light of the tragic events that took place in Santa Barbara.

His campaign party will take place Saturday night at 6:30 while the Republican primary will take place on Aug. 26.

Update: Liberti says he's still not comfortable with a drawing quite yet. He says he's making sure that he has in writing that drawings are legal before he hosts the drawing so it is cancelled until further notice.

The campaign party though will still take place Saturday night at 6:30.


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