Texas governor's website continues to tout shotgun giveaway in aftermath of school shooting

Texas governor's website continues to tout shotgun giveaway in aftermath of school shooting
Posted at 1:10 PM, May 20, 2018

A gunman armed with a .38 revolver and a shotgun walked into Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday and killed 10 people, according to authorities.

Two days later, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is still touting a shotgun giveaway on his website.

The entry period for the drawing began on May 1 -- before the shooting in Santa Fe -- and ends on May 31.

Participants in the giveaway enter with a chance to win a $250 certificate that can be redeemed at a licensed gun dealer in Central Texas. Entrants must be Texas residents, per the governor's campaign website, and at least 18 years old. They must also be legally allowed to buy a pump-action shotgun.

Abbott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the shotgun giveaway.

Abbott's campaign has also advertised the giveaway on other campaign materials.

Vikki Goodwin, a candidate for the State House District 47 in west Travis County, was door-to-door campaigning on Saturday afternoon when she came across a door hanger advertising the giveaway.

"I was just astounded that he was giving away a shotgun," Goodwin told CNN. "The timing of it just seemed really bad."

Goodwin notes she only saw the door hanger on one house and didn't know how long it had been there. "I thought, 'Surely they didn't just put this on the door and say they're giving away a shotgun right after 10 people have died as a result of another school shooting,'" she said.

The Austin chapter of March for Our Lives -- the gun control initiative started by students in Parkland, Florida, after their own school shooting -- blasted the governor on Twitter for the giveaway. The group demanded he take the page on his website down.

"To put it bluntly, we find this a disgusting display of disregard of the toll gun violence takes and an absolute failure to respect your constituents in the wake of the #SantaFe shootings," the chapter said on Twitter.

"Having a raffle of a shotgun, considering that shotgun is what was used just two days ago to kill 10 of my peers, I frankly think that's disgusting what Gov. Abbott is doing,"Jack Kappelman, a high school senior and an organizer for Austin March for Our Lives, told CNN.

The giveaway made Abbott's recent call for a roundtable discussion to curb gun violence illegitimate, said Kappelman.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the suspected 17-year-old shooter, is currently being held on charges of capital murder and aggravated assault of a public servant.

According to a probable cause affidavit signed by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office, Pagourtzis told officers he used a Remington 870 shotgun and a .38-caliber pistol in the shooting.

Abbott told reporters on Friday the weapons were legally owned by Pagourtzis' father. His family released a statement on Saturday, saying they were "as shocked and confused as anyone else by these events that occurred."

"We share the public's hunger for answers as to why this happened, and will await the outcome of the investigation before speaking about these events," the statement said.

It's not the first time Abbott has held a giveaway for a shotgun. According to, Abbott also hosted a raffle in October 2015 during his first year as governor.