An Alabama car dealership is giving away bibles, flags and 12-gauge shotguns in honor of the Fourth of July

Posted at 9:56 AM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 11:56:29-04

In an appeal to patriotism, a car dealership in Alabama is giving away bibles, flags and guns for a Fourth of July special.

From now until July 31, Chatom Ford will offer customers a bible, American flag and a gift certificate for a 12-gauge shotgun when they purchase any new or used vehicle.

In a promotional video titled “God, Guns and Freedom,” manager Koby Palmer cocks a shotgun in front of a red truck with an American flag draped across the back.

“We’re going to be celebrating July Fourth a little bit differently this year,” he said in the video, posted to Facebook June 19.

The promotion, a first for the dealership, is meant to honor the tiny town of Chatom, home to just over 1,200 people, and its values, Palmer told CNN.

“We just wanted to show appreciation for some of the things that [residents] take pride in in this area,” he said.

Customers can’t drive off the lot with a new gun, though: They must take their gift card to a participating firearms dealer to redeem it, he said.

An ‘American stand’ or ‘violently American?’

Palmer said the dealership’s been “overwhelmed” with positive feedback since the promotion started. They’ve sold five vehicles in two days and might even sell out their inventory by the time the sale ends.

Customers from across the country have flooded their Facebook with comments of praise for “taking an amazing American stand” and refrains of “God Bless America.”

But the promotion’s attracted criticism in equal measure for its provision of guns and bibles, ranging from “just lunatic” to “violently American.”

Palmer assured that customers don’t have to take the bible, gun certificate or flag if they’re uncomfortable.

“We’re not trying to force anything on anybody,” he said. “We accept all views and all walks of life.”

Alabama’s gun laws are among the most lenient in the US

In Alabama, anyone age 18 or older can purchase a rifle or shotgun without a license or permit to carry or purchase. Handguns require a permit to carry.

There are 161,641 registered firearms in Alabama, according to a 2017 survey from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That’s about 33 guns per 1,000 people among Alabama’s 4.88 million residents.