BERGENFIELD — A New Jersey police union has canceled a raffle that listed a semi-automatic rifle and a shotgun as prizes.

Bergenfield police say a state statute bars giving away weapons as prizes and the event has been cancelled. NorthJersey.com reports Det. Dave Tortora, president of Bergenfield PBA Local 309, said Thursday the firearms raffle was a way to help his 46-member organization raise money.

Bergenfield police say anyone who purchased tickets will be refunded.

NBC New York reports the New Jersey chapter of Moms Demanding Action for Gun Sense said in a statement: “The PBA does good work and needs proper funding, but we believe that they are the ones that should have that (gun) power.”

The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office became involved after a NorthJersey.com reporter was seeking comment about the legality of the raffle. Tortora apologized in his statement Thursday.

The union was offering two guns as a raffle prize to help fund a scholarship for Bergenfield High School students.

In a statement released Friday. the PBA said it understands ""the gravity of these weapons and the means to which they’ve been used. We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended.”

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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