National Politics

Want an AR-15? Buy tickets to a conservative conference and be entered to win

Civitas Institute

A giveaway to promote ticket sales for the Civitas Institute’s Conservative Leadership Conference packs a lot of firepower.

If you buy tickets for the conference, you’ll be entered to win a Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport rifle, according to an email advertising the event. Civitas is a conservative public policy organization headquartered in Raleigh.

“The 2017 CLC is only three weeks away, but there's still time to register, and if you buy your tickets before midnight on June 6, you'll be entered to will a brand new Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport Rifle,” the email read.

The rifle is valued at $739 and was donated for the giveaway by Hyatt Guns of Charlotte, a sponsor of the conference. The winner must be at least 21 and be able to pass a background check

“The AR-15 style rifle is popular one, and both Civitas and Hyatt agreed that that style rifle would be one that would generate the most interest,” Alexander Guin, director of development for Civitas, said in an email Thursday.

This is the first time Civitas has done a firearm giveaway in Guin’s memory, and he said he expects the promotion to go over well.

“Given the fact that Civitas Institute supporters and staff broadly agree that not only are AR-15s awesome, but that a well-armed, law abiding citizenry is the ultimate check on both government tyranny and violent crime, I would expect little to no outcry,” Guin said. “Whether some people disagreed with the firearm giveaway promotion was not a consideration for us.”

This year’s Conservative Leadership Conference is No. 12 and Guin said it will feature speakers including Nigel Farage, former UK Independence Party leader and “Chief Brexiteer.” The event also advertises that this year’s conference “is different than any other – it's a ‘Master Class’ on the ideas of our founding. You'll learn how to defend and advance Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness from experts at Civitas, Heritage Foundation, Breitbart News, National Rifle Association, Americans for Prosperity, Susan B. Anthony List, Brexit and more.”

Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768; @AbbieRBennett