Forget about a free calendar or an Amazon gift card. A Ford dealer in South Carolina is offering car buyers a Bible, an American flag and a $400 gun with the purchase of a new vehicle through November.
Carolina Ford's "God, Guns and America" promotion has garnered the small-town dealership plenty of national attention and even drawn out-of-state customers, according to Derrick Hughes, the Honea Path dealership's general manager.
"We've had people from as far as Texas [and] Pennsylvania," he told CBS affiliate WSPA in Spartanburg. "I think we've had a couple of them from Oklahoma."
Buyers can drive off the lot with their Bible and flag, but the gun part of the offer is actually a $400 voucher redeemable at Locked N Loaded, a tactical gear store 20 minutes south in Abbeville.
Customers who purchased a vehicle must provide a passed background check before using the voucher to buy a firearm, Locked N Loaded owner Jay Ashley told The Post and Courier. Customers aren't obligated to redeem for a gun, he noted — they can claim other items worth $400, including fishing gear or archery equipment.
Carolina Ford holds promotions throughout the year, including discounts for military personnel. While state lawmakers in South Carolina are considering passingthat would keep guns away from people deemed a danger to themselves or others — a move by Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham — Hughes said the promotion is not a political statement about gun control. Rather, it's an affirmation of South Carolina's church-going traditions and popular local activities like hunting for feral hogs.
"This promotion was brought to life in the middle of September when we all sat down and had a meeting," Carolina Ford officials wrote on the dealership's Facebook page. "We know we are not the first [to do this] ... There are dealers that have done this throughout the country for years."
Indeed, similar deals have popped up in Rochester, New Hampshire, and Andrews, Texas. Earlier this year, Chatom Ford in southwest Alabama announced its "God, Guns and Freedom" promotion, which featured a gun certificate redeemable for a 12-gauge shotgun along with a Bible and flag. Ford Motor officials later asked the Chatom dealership to end its promotion after three people were killed in California during a .
A Ford spokesman told the Detroit Free Press that the company will not interfere with Carolina Ford's promotion.
"Our dealers are independent businesses," Said Deep told the new outlet. "This is a local promotion, not something directed by Ford. We understand customers are given gift certificates they can apply to a range of sporting goods. Obviously, promotions have to be lawful — as this one is."