The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Outdoors

March 9, 2014

Cross column: Free guns with truck makes good business

If you’re a fan of Ford pickups, and also happen to be in need of a new shotgun, you might consider a drive up to Muscatell-Burns Ford in Hawley in northwest Minnesota.

Buy a new or used Ford truck through Friday, and the dealership will throw a free shotgun into the deal.

Or more correctly, they’ll give you a $350 voucher to buy one from an outdoor store in nearby Fargo, N.D. Buyers would have to comply with all of the firearm regulations that apply to any other retail gun purchase, of course.

To suggest that the promotion to give away guns with a truck purchase tweaked media interest would be a significant understatement.

Virtually every television station in Minnesota and elsewhere, many newspapers, magazines, blogs and radio stations, reported on the promotion. Throwing in a shotgun to sweeten a deal on a new pickup truck?

It makes perfect business sense in and around Hawley, located midway between Detroit Lakes and Moorhead, where the outdoors and hunting are a lifestyle and frequent topic of conversation.

But vehicle dealerships offering guns to close a sale isn’t exactly a novel idea.

In 2010 and 2011, dealerships in Missouri and Florida garnered national media attention by offering free AK-47s to customers who purchased vehicles.

Of course, neither dealership had a semi-trailer on the back lot stacked with the crates of the Cosmoline-encrusted weapons. And in reality, customers weren’t limited to AK-47s.

Just as in Hawley, buyers were issued vouchers and then had to go through a federally licensed firearms dealer, passing the requisite background checks before receiving a gun of their choice.

It is one thing to offer a free shotgun. Even the most ardent gun control proponent could probably understand how a more traditional firearm could be used for sporting pursuits.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Outdoors
  • mfp sports-jc outdoor column-7-27 Singing the praises of the prairie When pioneers first traveled through Minnesota, they marveled at the seemingly endless, inland sea of tall grass prairie that greeted them.It is estimated more than 18 million acres of grasslands stretched from the southeast to the northwest corners

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp sports jcross outdoor column 7-20 Chasing walleyes in South Dakota nice We slowed to a crawl the other day on the dusty Day County township road in northeast South Dakota, a courtesy to the farmer who was baling ditch hay south of Webster.Otherwise, we would have enveloped him as he drove his open tractor in the choking

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing report Outlook on area lakes

    July 6, 2014

  • Cross column: No wake, no fish ... no problems on the water Patience is always a virtue when fishing.

    July 6, 2014

  • Know Your Lakes: Series maps

    Missed out on the weekly lake preview Wednesday's in the print edition? That's ok, we have you covered here. View the series thus far and download a printable PDF.

    May 24, 2011

  • Cross column: Where does the buck stop in your home?

    Displaying your trophy catch can be debatable

    June 29, 2014

  • Storms came at horrible time for pheasants For pheasants and pheasant hunters, there were no silver linings to be found in the storm clouds that inundated the countryside with heavy rains this week.A foot of rain falling in just a week is never good, but for pheasants, it came at precisely th

    June 22, 2014

  • Early morning is beautifully lonely Benjamin Franklin was on to something when he extolled the benefits of "early to bed, early to rise." While I can't vouch for its effect on health, wealth or wisdom, rolling out of the sack certainly seems to pay dividends for outdoor activities. The

    June 15, 2014

  • mfp sports cross column 6-1 Cross: Take a kid fishing, no license needed A few years ago, while cruising with a co-worker through an area community on a steamy summer day, we passed a vacant lot. There, oblivious to the heat and humidity, a group of kids were playing a game of pick-up baseball, racing down well-worn paths

    June 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cross: Once upon a time, when fishing was simple... Once upon a time, fishing was a pretty simple affair. A rod-and-reel, some bait and tackle, perhaps a rowboat if you were lucky, and you were in business. While the basic premise of angling -- to catch fish -- remains, it sure seems to have grown mor

    May 25, 2014