Political Candidate Raffling Off Gun at Campaign Kick-Off Event in Stockton

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STOCKTON --

Feel like you've heard it all already this political season?

Alex Appleby begs to differ.

"It'll be brand new one, a Hi-Point 9mm," Appleby said.

Appleby is talking about the 9mm pistol he's giving away in a raffle to raise money for his run to be Stockton's next congressman.

"It's Sockton. Guns and Stockton... it's a pretty press-worthy thing," he said.

In response to a homicide rate that has periodically soared, and its appearance on the list of America's most dangerous cities, Stockton's police have aggressively tried to get guns off the streets.

And in 2013, the city's mayor put up $5,000 of his own money in a gun buy-back program.

All this opens Appleby up to criticism that his campaign kick-off is irresponsible.

"I think that doing it is the responsible thing -- by bringing awareness, and encouraging people to have training. You don't have to have a gun, but have training so if somebody comes at you with a gun, you can be safe," Appleby said.

Appleby is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army and a shooting sportsman himself.

He says whoever wins the 9mm in his campaign raffle will get a gift certificate for the firearm that they'll redeem at a local gun shop, so they'll have to go through all the background checks and meet all the requirements under California law to be a gun owner.