Iowa football team postpones AR-15 giveaway after backlash from sponsors


An attendee holds a Stag Arms AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting in Houston, Texas on May 28, 2022. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images )

An indoor football team in Sioux City, Iowa, has canceled plans to donate an AR-15 to one of its games after facing backlash following a series of mass shootings across the United States. United.

The Sioux City Bandits, which are part of the Indoor Soccer Champions League, announced the promotion of the rifle in a Facebook post that has since been deleted. The team owner initially refused calls for the giveaway to be rescinded, but changed his mind later the same day after one of their sponsors threatened to sever ties, The Des Moines Register .

He initially told the newspaper that the team wouldn’t cancel because “some guys in New York and some guys in Boston, Massachusetts, think it’s in bad taste.”

The Bandits, who are part of a league called Champions Indoor Football, teamed up with a local gun shop owned by a military veteran for an annual military night at the arena. Everyone who signed up had to be at least 18 years old and pass a background check.

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The giveaway was to take place 11 days after an 18-year-old used an AR-15 to kill 19 students and two children at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and 21 days after an 18-year-old used an AR. -15 years for killing 10 blacks in a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

This week, a Tulsa, Oklahoma man used an AR-15 type rifle to shoot and kill four people in a hospital before turning on himself.

There have been 236 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2022, according to Gun Violence Archive, an independent data collection group. The GVA defines a mass shooting as four or more people shot and killed, not including the shooter.

President Biden addressed the shooting in a primetime speech Thursday night and called on Congress to reinstate limits on the sale of assault-type weapons and high-capacity magazines. A bipartisan group of senators have gathered to see if Republicans and Democrats can find common ground on gun laws, even if the talks are unlikely to produce sweeping reform.

“Timing is everything,” the Sioux City Bandits said in a Facebook post after reversing course.

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