Illinois Sheriff Raffles Off Guns Morning After Texas School Massacre

Raffle is to raise money for election in which he is running unopposed

click to enlarge The two guns being raffled off by Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing, who is running unopposed. - Neal Rohlfing's Website
The two guns being raffled off by Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing, who is running unopposed.

The current sheriff of Monroe County, Illinois, is drawing heat from some of his own constituents after announcing yesterday that he is raffling off two firearms to raise campaign funds.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing announced early yesterday morning on his Facebook page that, "We currently have a gun raffle going on to support my re-election as Monroe County Sheriff." The post went on to say that the two guns being raffled off were a Smith & Wesson 556 caliber AR pistol and a Glock 43 9 mm pistol. "The first winner will get the choice of the two."

The announcement came less than 24 hours after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed by gunman with an AR-15-style rifle.

Monroe County sits just across the Mississippi River, bordering St. Louis and Jefferson counties.

Rohlfing, who has been sheriff since 2014, is running for re-election unopposed.

"I do know this raffle happens every year, and the post in question was a scheduled post. However he's not addressing it at all," says a Monroe County resident who asked to only be referred to as Matt D. "He could have edited or taken it down because of the timing. It's very easy to cancel a post."

Matt, who has lived in the community for almost 40 years, adds that Rohlfing has a history of putting a lot of his political leanings onto the official Facebook page of the Monroe County sheriff's page.

"He has crossed lines so many times since taking office," Matt says.

A woman who has lived in Monroe County her whole life tells the RFT she doesn't want her name published because she fears repercussions from the sheriff's department.

"The fact it was posted and still remains online is absolutely disgusting in my opinion," she says. "He never addressed the tragedy in Texas. I think there are some people who believe this was his way of addressing it. The raffle was a political statement."

This resident, who has three school-aged children adds, "Just hours after 19 kids and two teachers are killed, he's moved on and is trying to give the public access to more lethal weapons. That's not what we need while we're grieving."

The feedback to Rohlfing's raffle wasn't entirely negative. On Facebook a handful of Monroe residents responded by asking where they could buy tickets.

The RFT reached out to Rohlfing but has not gotten a response. We'll update the story if we do.

About The Author

Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. Find him on Twitter @ryanwkrull
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