UPDATE: FoA has learned that Holt’s fundraiser will involve the shooting of paper targets, not live turkeys. However we stand by our position that Tennessee residents should not re-relect Holt as he remains steadfast in giving out  2 AR-15s as door prizes to attendees. For us, Holt is all too comfortable with acts of terror, whether a gun is fired at an innocent human or animal. The truth is contestants at his fundraiser will be using real guns and real ammo. And traditionally, frozen turkeys are awarded as prizes at turkey shoots, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the winners will also get a frozen turkey to take home with their AR-15.

We are sure Holt, whose event also involves a “hog fest” and petting zoo,  is aware that turkey shoots originated as contests in which live turkeys were tied down in a pen and shot from 25-35 yards. If the turkey died, the shooter received it as a prize. Other turkey shoots provided a caged turkey with a protective wall. Above the cage was a slot in which the turkey could raise its head. Single shot rifles were used and if the shooter was skilled and fast enough, the turkey was shot in the head rewarding the shooter it as his prize.

In the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, Tennessee Rep. Andy Holt, an “A” rated member of the NRA, is standing by his reprehensible decision to give away two semi-automatic AR-15s, the same weapon used in the Orlando shooting, at his first annual “Hog Fest and Turkey Shoot” fundraiser on June 25—an event meant to raise money for his campaign to hang on to his seat in the Tennessee House come November.

We at Friends of Animals are urging Tennessee residents put a stop to this bloody inhumane fundraiser, and to take action against a culture of killing and stop supporting legislators like Holt—who is all too comfortable with acts of terror, whether a gun is fired at an innocent human or animal.
“Tennessee’s Rep. Holt is a public nuisance posing as a public servant. And he’s acting crazier than our society can afford right now,” said Priscilla Feral, president of Friends of Animals.

Animal killing contests, like the one Holt is using as his fundraiser, are part of a broader conversation on gun violence. Killing contests provide an incentive to children and adults to shoot many animals to win prizes—a disturbing, irrational activity that’s out-of-pace with a civilized society and desensitizes humans to killing. Not only are animal killing contests barbaric, they disrupt the natural order of wildlife and create vacuums.

Hunters are in the minority of the American population, yet legislators like Holt are allowing them and the NRA to run the country. We expect hunters to be more vocal than ever about their “cherished American right” to shoot wildlife to death, as sane people push to ban the AR-15, because their favorite traditional looking hunting or target shooting semi-automatic firearm will likely be banned too.

We hope the federal government will adopt tougher gun laws like Connecticut, where FoA is headquartered. In the meantime we will continue to work with legislators to make animal killing contests illegal in New York, and we are calling on people around the country to do the same.

If you live in Tennessee, do not re-elect reckless and irresponsible Rep. Holt—who not only encourages violence towards animals, but seems to have little respect for humans either. The rules of his despicable fundraiser read: The women’s division is open to all biological females ages 18 and over. Sorry fellers, “identifying” as a female won’t get you into this contest; Obama has no control over this event. The men’s division is open to all biological males ages 18 and over.

Take Action

1. Speak out against Holt’s shameful decision to give away two AR-15s at his upcoming killing contest fundraiser. Send him a message via email by clicking here. or visit his Facebook page to leave a comment. Call his office at : (615) 741-7847

2. If you are a resident of TN, contact your state legislators about introducing a bill that would ban animal killing contests. Find your representatives here.