NY pastor raffles rifle during Sunday service

NY pastor raffles rifle during Sunday service

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TROY, N.Y. (AP) - After a sermon connecting the "Christian values" of America's founding fathers with the right to bear arms, an upstate New York Baptist minister has raffled off a new Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic rifle.

Other local ministers have criticized Sunday's giveaway of a gun similar to the rifle used in the December 2012 shooting at Newtown, Conn.'s Sandy Hook Elementary School. But the Rev. John Koletas of the Grace Baptist Church in Troy said in an online letter that he wanted to honor gun owners "who have been so viciously attacked by the antichristian socialist media" and politicians.

The Albany Times-Union reports that the winner was 42-year-old Ron Stafford of Schenectady, who will have to go through a background check before he gets the gun.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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