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Republican challenger to SC Congressman Tom Rice raffling off AR-15 rifle


The gun, McBride said, comes from Cormac Arms and Outfitters, a local gun store in Myrtle Beach, and its retail value is about $1,000.

MYRTLE BEACH — Former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride, one of 12 Republicans planning a primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Tom Rice, is raffling off an AR-15 rifle.

McBride is offering a Cormac Carbine AR-15 5.56 "in defiance of Biden, Pelosi, and the rest of the Socialists," he wrote in an email to supporters on Oct. 20.

"The Socialist Democrats HATE that I'm giving away an AR-15 and HATE that I support the police, and Law and Order," McBride added, "and that's why after this one, I'm going to give away a few more."

Firearm giveaways by political candidates are not unheard of in South Carolina.

In 2018, Gov. Henry McMaster raffled off a 9mm pistol during a gun show at the South Carolina State Fairgrounds in Columbia while seeking a full term in office. State Sen. Lee Bright offered up an AR-15 during his unsuccessful campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Rice is facing GOP opposition to win a sixth-term for his seat in the state's heavily Republican 7th Congressional District seat because of his vote to impeach President Donald Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. Rice, a Myrtle Beach accountant and lawyer, was one of 10 GOP House members to vote for impeachment.

The winner of McBride's rifle raffle, chosen on Nov. 24, must follow regulations in their state and could need provide proof of identity, licenses and permits, the contest rules say. 

South Carolina laws do not require any permits, registration or licenses to purchase or own a firearm.

The semiautomatic rifle, McBride said, comes from Cormac Arms and Outfitters, a Myrtle Beach gun shop, with a retail value of $1,000.

The raffle comes just a day after McBride's opponent Graham Allen was endorsed by controversial Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene, and a few days after his third quarter campaign fundraising fell far short in comparison to Rice and Allen.

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Follow Demi Lawrence on Twitter @DemiNLawrence.

Demi Lawrence reports on Georgetown County for The Post and Courier. She graduated from Ball State University in 2020, and previously was an intern at The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana and Indianapolis Monthly.

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