A Florida senator made good on his online contest and gave away a custom made AR-15 rifle on Tuesday. Greg Evers presented the prize to a Crestview woman at the Pensacola Indoor Shooting Range despite backlash.

“I want to present you this and congratulations,” Evers told Carrie Martin as he handed her the firearm. “Be sure that the home is safe.”

Martin was one of the hundreds that entered the controversial contest. The Facebook page for Ever’s congressional campaign asked users to share posts. Evers said he initially hosted the contest to shed light on his bid to take the seat of Jeff Miller, who will vacate his position at the end of the year.

“To me, this was an ideal way to bring focus to protect yourself, the Second Amendment and to the campaign,” Evers said.

However, the timing of his contest made some people uneasy. It came right after the tragedy in Orlando where a gunman used a weapon similar to an AR-15 to kill 49 people. Facebook deleted the post about the contest, but Evers still held it.

“We have had overwhelming support for the actual campaign, the actual giveaway,” he said. “Of course there was some feedback that was not so glamorous, but for the most part, most were overwhelmed and actually enjoyed it and a lot of folks participated.”

Fellow Republican Matt Gaetz, who is running against Evers for congress, told WEAR-TV previously that the contest was nothing but a political ploy. He said that he has nothing against AR-15s and people owning them, but believes the focus should be on passing legislation to protect Second Amendment rights.

Ever’s contest was only open to adults in his district. The winner had to clear a background check, just as anyone would who is buying a firearm in Florida.

repost from: weartv.com