| KANSAS CITY, Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Missouri A Missouri car dealer said on Thursday sales have soared at his auto and truck business since launching a promotion this week that promises buyers a free handgun or a $250 gas card with every purchase.
Max Motors, a small Butler, Missouri dealership that has as its logo a grimacing cowboy wielding a pistol, has sold more than 30 cars and trucks in the last three days, far more than its normal volume. And owner Mark Muller credits his decision to start offering buyers their choice of a $250 gas card or a $250 credit at a gun shop.
"This thing has taken off. Sales have quadrupled," said Muller. The store sells both used and new vehicles including General Motors and Ford products.
Every buyer so far "except one guy from Canada and one old guy" has elected to take the gun, Muller said. Muller recommends his customers select a Kel-Tec .380 pistol.
"It's a nice little handgun that fits in your pocket," he said.
Muller said the promotion was inspired by Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who is vying with Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic nominee for the presidential election in November.
"We did it because of Barack Obama. He said all those people in the Midwest, you've got to have compassion for them because they're clinging to their guns and their Bibles. I found that quite offensive."
"We all go to church on Sunday and we all carry guns," said Muller. "I've got a gun in my pocket right now. I have a rifle in my truck. We've got to shoot the coyotes out here, they're attacking our cows, our chickens. We're not clinging to nothing. We're just damn glad to live in a free country where you can have a gun if you want. This is the way it ought to be."
(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)