Published in The Boston Globe June 17, 2016
People who buy a used vehicle can get an AR-15 assault rifle for free, courtesy of a New Hampshire car dealership.
Hagan’s Motor Pool in Rochester, N.H., is offering the promotion for select cars. The promotion, which began in May, features the slogan, “Buy a car, get an AR.”
Owner Mike Hagan, who served as a combat medic in Afghanistan, said the promotion has been well-received by the community. So far four AR-15s and one 9mm handgun, an alternative selection, have been given out, he said.
The process of getting the gun is the same one a normal buyer would use, Hagan said, except he gets the bill. All the transactions are in compliance with the law, he said.
Despite an AR-15-style rifle being used in the mass terror shooting in Orlando on June 12 that left 49 people dead, Hagan said the dealership is committed to continuing the promotion. The act of one individual has not shaken his commitment to the Second Amendment, he said.
He emphasized that the promotion had begun before the Orlando attack.
“We’ve gotten feedback from people who think we’ve done this as a response to the events in Florida,” Hagan said. “It would be absolutely reprehensible to exploit a terrorist attack to generate revenue.”
Renaissance Firearms, a licensed gun dealer in Rochester, has partnered with Hagan’s Motor Pool for the promotion deal, Hagan said. The firearms dealer runs background checks on the customers, he said.
Sergeant Jeremy Aucoin of the Rochester police said as long as the sale is going through a licensed firearm dealer and the vendor is following the same rules, the promotion is legal.
Hagan said that some customers have declined the promotional guns because they already own some. He also offers a discount for those who do not want guns.
According to Hagan, he would not offer the deal to someone suspicious.
“If I encounter someone who I thought had bad intentions, I would decline the sale,” he said.
Hagan said the promotion would continue until Aug. 31.
If customers give it a good reception, he said, the dealership will change its offer to a different firearm “to keep it fresh.”