BY: Follow @LizWFB
A Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Colorado is seeking to capitalize on the state’s pro-gun views by giving away an AR-15.
Tim Neville, a state senator and candidate in the crowded GOP field seeking to challenge Sen. Michael Bennet (D., Colo.) in November, announced the giveaway in a fundraising email on Valentine’s Day.
The Colorado Independent reports:
Tim Neville, a Republican state senator from Littleton who’s running for the U.S. Senate, has a sure-fire way to entice voters to bolster his bid in the March 1 caucuses: Those who pledge to support him will enter a contest for a sparkling new Smith & Wesson M&P 15 Sport AR-15 military-style assault rifle.
“Of course, I know the anti-gun media may hate it,” Neville wrote in a Valentine’s Day fundraising email about the giveaway. “And I know the political talking heads may sneer as they continue blaming guns and law-abiding gun owners for the acts of thugs and madmen.”
But, Neville continues, “I am THE pro-gun, pro-Constitution candidate in this race for U.S. Senate—and I can’t think of a better way to get that word out before March 1st than by giving away a brand new AR-15.”
The giveaway is an attempt for Neville to boost his fundraising numbers before the caucus in Colorado on March 1. Coloradans do not have to make a contribution in order to be eligible, but will be added to the state senator’s email list.
The winner will receive a Smith and Wesson M&P15 Sport AR-15, which retails for $739.
Gun control remains unpopular in Colorado, where two Democrats were booted from office in 2013 for pushing through stricter gun laws. Fifty-six percent of Coloradans oppose gun control, according to a poll conducted last July.
A solid majority also supports allowing teachers to carry guns at school, and 49 percent said if more people carried guns, Colorado would be safer, according to a November survey.
Neville is one of the many candidates vying to unseat Democratic incumbent Bennet. Neville, who paints himself as an “anti-establishment, no-compromise conservative,” was one of the first candidates to enter the race in October.
Since, 12 others have announced bids, including combat veteran Jon Keyser, self-funding businessman Robert Blaha, El Paso County commissioners Darryl Glenn and Peg Littleton, and Aurora County Commissioner Ryan Frazier.