First-time subscribers of satellite TV in parts of the US states of Idaho and Montana can obtain a free gun with their subscriptions.
Electronics retailer RadioShack and Dish Network dealerships have worked to create the promotion in western Montana and southwest Idaho, where new subscribers to a Dish Network package receive a coupon for US$135 to buy a single-shot shotgun at a local sporting good shop.
The owner of a RadioShack store in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, Steve Strand, came up with the idea for the promotion. Since the region’s citizens are generally in favour of firearms, it made sense to tie that into a satellite TV promotion.
"We have a different demographic out here," Strand told Reuters, adding that women make up the majority of his increasing customer base.
Despite gun-control advocates criticising the promotion on blogs and one RadioShack official questioning the promotion, RadioShack hasn’t prohibited it by franchise owners.
Subscriptions for Dish Network packages have increased threefold since Strand began offering freebies on pistols or shotguns, Reuters reported.