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Electronics store will keep giving away free guns, says owner

Steve Strand
David Erickson/AP

(CBS/AP) HAMILTON, Montana - A Montana RadioShack owner says he'll continue to give away guns with satellite television subscriptions, even though the corporation called to get him to "cease fire" on the promotion.

Since October, independent dealer Steve Strand has been offering a gift card for a $125 pistol or $115 shotgun, and a free background check, to customers who sign up for two-year Dish Network packages.

According to Reuters, the promotion has been a success, tripling subscriptions to the satellite TV service.

Those not interested in the firearms can opt for a $50 pizza gift certificate.

RadioShack Corp. officials called Strand in March and ordered him to pull the promotion, he told the Ravalli Republic newspaper. Strand refused, saying he is within his rights as a legal dealer and is now seeking legal representation.

"RadioShack has taken the position that we're tarnishing their brand image with the promotion," he said. "I don't think this is a negative impact. I don't think they understand the way of life in Montana."

Strand has set up a website detailing the promotion, www.GetaGun.net.

Dish Network spokesman Marc Lumpkin said Strand is an independent retailer and can offer whatever promotion he wishes.

"We've not objected to what he's offering. We're neutral on his decision to offer the firearm promotion," Lumpkin said.

Strand had planned a similar promotion with DirecTV, but after word of the promotion made international headlines, DirecTV said it would not participate in the giveaway.

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March 29, 2010 - RadioShack Bang-Up Promotion: Sign up for Dish Network, get a gun, too!