Semi-automatic rifle raffle called off

BERGENFIELD, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey police union has canceled a raffle that listed a semi-automatic rifle and a shotgun as prizes.

Bergenfield police say a state statute bars giving away weapons as prizes and the event has been cancelled. reports Det. Dave Tortora, president of Bergenfield PBA Local 309, said Thursday the firearms raffle was a way to help his 46-member organization raise money.

Bergenfield police say anyone who purchased tickets will be refunded.

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office became involved after a reporter was seeking comment about the legality of the raffle. Tortora apologized in his statement Thursday.

The union was offering two guns as a raffle prize to help fund a scholarship for Bergenfield High School students.

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