As outlandish as the concept sounds, giving away free weapons actually does help bring in the customers. That is the case for at least one truck dealership based in Sanford, Florida.
Nations Trucks dealership’s latest promotion is a free AK-47 assualt rifle with every used truck purchase. A poster in Nations’ office window proclaims “Free AK-47” above a large illustration of the gun, which is by far the biggest-selling assault rifle of all time.
General sales manager Nick Ginetta says that since the promotion was announced on Veterans Day, business has more than doubled at Nations Trucks in Sanford.
“There is a long line of people just waiting to buy trucks,” Mr Ginetta said. Earlier he suggested it was the perfect offer for his customer base. “My buyer is absolutely a gun owner, no question,” he added.
After 33 years in the car business, Nick Ginetta will admit to a gimmick or two to bring in customers. “We’ve given away free gas for a year. We’ve given away televisions. We’ve given away trips to the Bahamas,” Ginetta said.
Customers would have to pass a background check before using the $400 gun shop voucher. They also have the option of using the money toward other firearms, or they can request a check in that amount instead.
The dealership has fielded some complaints about the deal, which Ginetta acknowledges is controversial. “I don’t think it sends the wrong message,” said Mr Ginetta, who insisted the dealership was merely allowing customers to assert their rights under the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
“You don’t need to buy a truck to go and buy an AK-47,” he said. “You have the right to do that as long as you meet all state and federal laws. So it’s just a promotion.”
The weapon made famous by the Soviet Red Army and terrorists all around the world. “Well, I know all about the AK-47. I was in Vietnam,” truck-buyer Don Zeis said.
Mr Zeis is not a big fan of the promotion or the rifle. “I heard it, very distinct sound, because they pointed it at me and they were firing at me,” he said. But he bought a pickup truck anyway. “Do you want the gun?” local TV reporter Berndt Petersen asked.
“I don’t want the gun,” Zeis replied. Ginetta said Zeis doesn’t have to take the gun.”If you want $400 in cash, that’s what the voucher is worth to me. I’ll give you that and you can go Christmas shopping for the kids,” Ginetta added.
One look around the dealership will show you the place caters to sportsmen. Ginetta says his sales pitch has triggered a flood of phone calls, 30 percent of them negative.
“AK-47s have a reputation in people’s minds. So, I came up with that to be a little controversial, to cause a little buzz. And I think I’ve accomplished that,” Ginetta said.
Any truck-buyer who wants to use the voucher at a local gun shop would have to go through the state and federal application process. The AK-47 is the most manufactured weapon in the world. More than 90 million items have been made.