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Top prizes in controversial church raffle include assault rifle and flamethrower

2 min read

A controversial Baptist church is raffling off a slate of prizes in their upcoming tombola, including a flamethrower and assault rifle.

It is not the first time Grace Baptist Church has raffled off heavy armaments and modern warfare tools, with the church gaining notoriety and embroiled in controversy for handing out AR-15s.

Pastor John Koletas is hosting the raffle, which rivals the traditional prizes of cheap vodka, photo frames and Celebrations chocolate by offering his congregation firearms.

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All they need to do is bag themselves a ticket to the tombola and they are in with a chance of taking home a flamethrower, like a dangerous pub meat raffle equivalent.

Should a winning ticket holder not feel all that satisfied with their prize of a lightweight semi-automatic assault rifle, they can trade it in for a canister of gas hooked up to a pipe that shoots flames, TimesUnion reported.

Pastor Koletas said: "We’re also, as we’ve done in the past, going to give away not just an AR-15 on each night, Monday night and Tuesday night, but we’re also giving the option if somebody wants to have a flamethrower.

"The winner, the very fortunate attendee, will either choose to get an AR-15, a New York modified AR-15, or a flamethrower."

Flamethrowers were legal up until 2019 in New York City, although Elon Musk's Boring Company played a part in turning them into felony items.

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His period before Twitter meltdowns saw the SpaceX and Tesla CEO craft 20,000 flamethrowers under his Boring Company, with all stock now sold.

Each flamethrower was sold for £395 ($500), and it led to a New York State Senate passing a bill which makes owning a flamethrower, except in certain circumstances, illegal, ABC4 reported.

Flamethrowers built before 1966 and those used for construction are allowed, and presumably the item featured in the Grace Baptist Church raffle is a bit of a wartime relic.

The church, which describes itself as an "ole fashion church, preachin' the ole time religion," is set to raffle off its modern weaponry to celebrate its 36th anniversary.

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