Rotary International Bans Club Firearm Raffles, Firearm Maker Sponsorships

Handguns fill a display case at Red's Trading Post Feb. 12, 2008, in Twin Falls, Idaho. The gun shop, stripped of its license by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, had repeated chances to fix problems but failed to, bureau inspector John Hansen testified in federal court Tuesday, …
AP/Elaine Thompson

On July 1 new Rotary International rules will bar individual Rotary Clubs around the U.S. from holding firearm raffles or accepting sponsorships from firearms manufacturers or dealers.

The NRA tweeted about the new anti-gun rules, which will soon be effective in Rotary International’s “Code of Policies”:

Rotary International Director Bradford R. Howard posted a letter containing a summary of the new rules, which include prohibitions against:

  • Rotary clubs, districts and other Rotary Entities from transferring ownership of weapons.
  • [Rotary] clubs, districts and Rotary Entities from conducting or sponsoring gun shows.
  • [Rotary] clubs, districts and Rotary Entities from using any visual that includes weapons.
  • Licensing by Rotary International of guns or weapons.

Moreover, the new rules even “[prohibit] clubs, districts and Rotary Entities from accepting sponsorships from gun/weapon companies or stores, and preventing use of Rotary’s logo with the name or logo of a gun/weapon company or store.” This begs the question–what happens if a renowned gun maker is involved in an event to benefit a local community and that involvement includes the use of their logo? Would this mean the local Rotary Club would be barred from involvement in the event altogether or would it simply mean the club would be prohibited from using its logo in the event because of the gun maker?

Even more confusing is the fact that Howard used his letter to let Rotary Clubs know they “are still permitted to conduct sporting events that may include guns.  (e.g., turkey shoots, skeet shoots, etc.).”

Howard explained the reasoning behind Rotary International’s new anti-gun stance:

In early 2016, Rotary, and the Board discovered that there is a lack of clarity around RI’s policy governing Rotary clubs, districts, and other Rotary Entities when participating in activities involving guns, weapons, and other armaments, and when interacting with gun companies, including for sponsorship purposes.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at



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