I’ve seen car dealerships, roofing companies, and even banks run gun promotions over the years, but I have to say this is the first time I can recall involving an orthodontist and a gun giveaway.
Gladwell Orthodontics, a North Carolina-based company with locations in Raleigh and Wake Forest, is partnering with a local gun club for the promotion. Customers who sign up for teeth alignment at either location can pick between a membership at the Youngsville Gun Club or a Glock 19.
According to the News & Observer, the deal was originally intended for gun club members, but a picture of a flyer advertising the promotion went viral on social media and sent some of their readers into a tizzy.
Several N&O readers forwarded the “Grins and Glocks” ad with concern:
“This is insane, free guns for Invisalign!” wrote one. “How is this even possible or legal?”
Lieberman said the orthodontic patients would receive a coupon and then be subject to the same background check as anyone purchasing a firearm through a gun store. They also would face the same minimum 21 age requirement for pistols.
With the membership as an option, he said, they can also emphasize safe and responsible ownership as part of the deal.
Neither business reported hearing any backlash — only people wanting to know if the deal was true.
It’s real and it’s spectacular, but (to borrow a phrase from cheesy salesmen everywhere) in order to take advantage of the savings you must act now! According to the original offer, customers hoping to take advantage of the promotion had to sign up on Wednesday for the Wake Forest location, but have until the end of business on Thursday to book themselves an appointment at Gladwell Orthodontics in Raleigh.
The pearl-clutching hasn’t been confined to a few of the paper’s readers. WRAL-TV in Raleigh also picked up on the promotion after an alert and irate viewer contacted them.
WRAL talked with attorneys and federal agencies about the legality of such a deal, after a viewer posed concern.
Gastonia-based attorney Ron Shook said this is not the first time he has heard of a promotion like this one.
“The concern here is that we’re not having firearms transferred to folks who do not qualify to possess them. This could be folks with criminal histories, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse issues, restraining orders against them – or in the case of case of a handgun – under the age of 21,” Shook said.
That said, he said it is perfectly legal. The most important thing is making sure the recipient can legally own a firearm.
Youngsville Gun Club & Range owner Kurt Lieberman says every customer who wants to pick up a pistol to go along with their new smile is going to have to abide by all applicable laws, including a background check. The promotion was originally intended as targeted marketing aimed at the gun club’s members and sadly, it sounds like the orthodontics practice isn’t extending the offer to anyone who’s interested.
Dr. Jason Gladwell, the owner of Gladwell Orthodontics, said the promotion is only intended for people on the gun club’s email list.
“Not everyone that comes into our office is going to be eligible; it’s not marketed to everyone. It is solely designed and marketed for the Youngsville Gun Club and Range,” he said. “The promotion is nontransferable. The person who actually gets started with the treatment has to actually be the eligible person.”
That’s disappointing, though maybe the interest generated by the “Grins and Glocks” offer will spur Gladwell to run a similar promotion open to the public in the future. “Beretta & Braces” has a nice ring to it, but “Sig & a Smile” works pretty well too.