A Roof Overhead, a Car in the Garage, and a Gun in Hand—Businesses Tout Gun Giveaway Promotions

(Courtesy of Hagan’s Motor Pool Auto Repair and Sales)

We’ve all seen the ads where if you buy something the company will throw something in for free, like buying a desktop computer and get a free printer.

Nowadays, more and more businesses are capitalizing on our appreciation of firearms and are offering free rifles or handguns if you buy their product or service.

One roofing company in Colorado, for example, is running a promotion in which if you purchase a replacement roof and exterior repairs it will give you an AR-15, a 9-mm pistol, a self-defense shotgun, or a $500 gift certificate. But you must first pass a federal background check to receive the item.

In its disclaimer, the roofing company strongly recommends the safe and responsible use of ALL firearms, that all firearm users take a firearms safety class and that all firearms be kept securely out of the reach of unattended minors.

A used-car dealer and repair shop in New Hampshire gave away AR-15s with the purchase of a used car, using the pitch “Buy a car, get an AR!” Again, only awarding the gun after a completed background check through a local dealer.

The dealer told local television stations that the promotion did increase his sales.

In Houston, a tactical apparel store that does not even sell firearms, held an event a few weeks ago in which they raffled off an AR-15 as well as other firearms.

But it’s not just businesses that recognize the attractiveness of offering firearms as an incentive. Politicians, too, have joined the party.

Florida State Senator Greg Evers is now running for a United States Congressional seat and looking for an edge in the Republican primaries, decided the best course of action was to have an AR-15 giveaway open only to adults in his district that could pass a background check. On July 12, 2016, he awarded the rifle to the winner.

And in Tennessee, State Representative Andy Holt held his first annual HogFest and Turkey Shoot at his farm and offered an AR-15 as a door prize. When he was contacted by the media questioning how responsible he thought it was to be giving away an AR-15 following recent events, Holt responded by giving away two rifles, to “ensure people can protect themselves.”

But not all such promotions have gone smoothly. This past July, Reebok stores in New York City ran a promotion called its CrossFit Games Giveaway in which winners would receive Glock handguns in addition to other prizes.

Protestors lined up in front of Reebok stores, calling the gun giveaway an “outrage” in light of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Even the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games was not pleased in Reebok’s choice of award. ESPN, which broadcast the games, expressed its disappointment in the choice of prizes and purposely refused to discuss the prizes during the broadcast.

After a couple of minor league baseball teams announced “2nd Amendment Night” in which guns would be permitted to be brought into their ballparks by those with a license with a chance to win a rifle or handgun, Minor League Baseball Association stepped in and shot down the promotions. Now both Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball associations have instituted rules that ban any type of firearms promotions or even any firearms in their ballparks, in an effort, in their words, “to avoid any hot-topic issues.”

But that did not stop an Illinois Summer-Collegiate League ball team, the Springfield Sliders, from giving away a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and a PARA 1911 .45-caliber ACP handgun via raffle as part of a recent promotion. They are in the Prospect League and not under the jurisdiction of Major or Minor League Baseball Associations.

We do love our firearms in America and most people do not see anything wrong with promoting responsible firearm ownership or gun giveaways or raffles.

What are your thoughts on gun giveaways or raffles? Have you or would you ever participate? Let us know.

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