What is it about the AR15 that just makes people want to give them away?

In a growing trend, the nation’s most popular semi-automatic rifle has increasingly become a marketing tool for everything from magazine sales (the print kind) to political campaigns.

Early this year the conservative political magazine The National Review in cooperation with the National Association for Gun Rights raffled off a Colt 6920 rifle to promote the magazine and its support of 2nd Amendment causes. Of course, these raffles tend to be run by right-leaning groups or candidates and make every effort to tug at the 2A heartstrings by jabbing President Barack Obama.

“Designed specifically for lightweight mobility, speed of target acquisition, and potent firepower capability, the Colt 6920 AR-15 is THE firearm Barack Obama and the gun-grabbers want to ban,” wrote NAGR vice president Dudley Brown (who you might remember also runs the Colorado-based Rocky Mountain Gun Owners).

And it seems that Republican politicians are trying to cash in on the black rifle craze as well. South Carolina Republican Lee Bright, a state senator running to unseat current U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham raffled off an AR-15 early this year in hopes of getting support — and campaign cash — for his Quixotic quest to take down his fellow Republican.

Bright said in an email announcing the raffle that Graham sided with notorious gun grabbers Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA) and Chuck Schumer (D – NY) during debates over new gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012.

According to Politico, Graham did vote to open debate on the new gun laws, which included increased background checks for private sales, but ultimately voted against the legislation. But that hasn’t stopped Bright — and other Republican candidates — from cashing in on the AR craze.

“I know the political talking heads may sneer as they continue blaming guns and law-abiding gun owners for the acts of thugs and madmen,” Bright said in his email. “My hope is this AR-15 giveaway will also help me get my message of liberty out to tens of thousands of South Carolinians.”

Even local political organizations are getting into the rifle raffle game. In Multnomah County Oregon, the Republican party there raffled off its third AR of the year in February — a DPMS Max Warrior — after selling out of the 500 tickets in each of the party’s last AR raffles.

According to KATU News, the money from the raffle is being used to support local GOP candidates and for day-to-day operations.

“It is truly to celebrate that we are Americans, we have Second Amendment rights, and we have people who have fought and died to have that right,” Anne Marie Gurney, a local GOP official, told KATU.

Read more on AR Guns & Hunting magazine.