The winners of the Heavy Duty Raffle drawings held Sept. 19 were:
• Barrett .50-cal semiautomatic rifle — representatives with the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office
• Daniel Defense Ambush AR-15 — business owner Raymond Whitman
• Springfield M1A — Marble Falls City Manager Mike Hodge.
Burnet County Friends of NRA raised about $17,000 from the combined three-gun ticket sales and the wall of guns raffle.
CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — Keeping firearms out of the reach of criminals can be a matter of life or death for law enforcement and the public.
With the installation of six secure cargo containers in Burnet County Sheriff’s Office vehicles, that concern has become less of an issue.
“We did have some struggles with the safety and security aspect of the firearms and weapons in the vehicle,” Patrol Sgt. Ricky Bindseil said. “Typically, they were left in their original cases that came from the factory.”
The agency bought the secure duty gear, which can also double as an incident command unit, with a $5,911 grant from the Burnet County Friends of NRA and the NRA Foundation.
In 2015, the nonprofit foundation disbursed about $20,000 in grant funding to the BCSO; the Marble Falls Police Department (about $4,500); the Burnet 4-H Club (about $5,000); and the Burnet County 4-H Shooting Team (about $7,300.)
“Over the years, grants have provided funds to the three 4-H shooting teams, local law enforcement and community-minded youth-oriented events,” said Mark McDonald the president of the Burnet County Friends of NRA. “4-H shooting teams request rifle, shotguns, ammunition and targets.
“Our big thing is primarily youth, but it’s also safety, hunter safety, education and firearm education,” he added.
Each year, various agencies apply for funding to enhance features used to protect and serve the community.
“For law enforcement, we’ve funded handguns for the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office. We almost always fund ammunition requests,” McDonald said. “For the Marble Falls Police Department, we helped them in a two-stage process of buying new vests as well as the (lighter-weight) plates for those vests so they can lighten the load they have to carry.”
The foundation relies on banquet fundraisers, donations and public participation in raffles to raise grant funding each year.
“These grants enable our deputies to renew their supplies, ammunition and guns as well as in their patrol cars for safety and security measures,” Bindseil said. “The NRA Foundation is an outstanding organization. It’s a great asset to us to be able to work jointly with them.”
McDonald added, “We have been very successful with this in the past because the community always steps up and realizes that 50 percent of every dollar that we raise for the NRA Foundation comes back to the community in the form of grants.”
The foundation’s upcoming fundraiser, the Heavy Duty Raffle, will feature a three-gun giveaway and a Wall of Guns raffle in which proceeds go toward more grants.
“Once again, we have another Barrett .50-cal semi-automatic rifle, which automatically makes people interested in the event itself,” McDonald said.
The other two rifles are a Springfield M1A and a Daniel Defense Ambush.
Tickets for the three-gun giveaway are $100 each.
Organizers will host drawings at 11 a.m. for the Wall of Guns raffle and noon for the featured firearms on Sept. 19 at Outfitters Rods, Barrels and Strings, 1008 U.S. 281 in Marble Falls.
For more information call 830-693-4613.