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Free guns with purchase of Dish Network

Meghan McNeice

When most people purchase something from Radio Shack they are given a receipt, and maybe some free coupons if they’re lucky. What if one day you decided to subscribe to Dish Network and instead of being asked, ‘Would you like your receipt in the bag?’ you were asked, ‘Would you like pizza or a gun?’

In Hamilton, MO. Radio Shack proudly displays on their outside billboard, declaring, “PROTECT YOURSELF WITH DISH NETWORK SIGN UP NOW AND GET FREE GUN.”

They left out the periods on purpose to draw attention, and it did just that. Owner Steve Strand says it has tripled his sales since October and that people come specifically to his store just to take pictures of the sign.

So long as people sign the contract and buy the equipment necessary for Dish Network, they are able to receive a gun. They have the option of a Hi-Point .380-caliber handgun or a 20-guage shotgun. The two guns are provided through Frontier Guns & Ammo, a store that’s north of Hamilton.

He has only had one person who disagreed with his sales pitch. But have no fear, for those who don’t want the gun, they can get a $50 Pizza Hut gift card! Background checks are done before customers recieve the gun and if a citizen fails, they get the gift card. For some in Montana, it’s a win-win situation. Other Radio Shack owners haven’t dared to try the same pitch in their stores though, and even Dish Network was a little hesitant with the idea. But for Strand, things worked out great.

Out of all the choices of give-away items though, why a gun? Montana is famous for its National parks and great outdoors, why not a compass or some sort of tool that can be used outdoors that is found in Radio Shack? I’m glad that Radio Shack at least runs background checks, but that’s a risky maneuver just handing a gun over the counter like that. If I lived in Montana, I would take note of the neighbors around me who were suddenly installing Dish Network. And if a Pizza Hut delivery guy wasn’t cruising by every once in a while, it might make me uneasy with the possibility that all my neighbors could have guns.

It’s just an odd combination, but for Northwestern states, I can see it being acceptable. With the economy being down, this could be just what people need in order to get decent television and some form of protection – or dinner for a few nights.