Pinellas Park dealership offers free gun with purchase of motorcycle, fueling mixed reaction

PINELLAS PARK - "Buy a motorcycle at Pinellas Power Sports and get a free hand gun!"

That's the ad that convinced Heather Yeager to buy a new motorcycle.

"I think it is a great idea," said Yeager.

The Pinellas Park dealer is actually offering a $150.00 voucher that can be used at two licensed gun brokers, or for a motorcycle training class, or even a Wal-Mart gift card.

Dealer Ronnie Pownall said they decided to lure customers with the promise of the gun after doing their own research.

"The number two things trending on the internet right now are handguns and electronic cigarettes and we chose handguns," said Pownall.

The response to the ad? Overwhelming.  Since it started airing just over a week ago, Pownall said they've sold more than two hundred bikes, an unprecedented number at his store. But he also said not all the response is positive.

"We have been surprised.  We have gotten support and people frustrated from all over the country to Hawaii and the United Kingdom to here in Florida," said Pownall.

And even as close as next door.

"I think it's pretty unsafe, especially with everything going on, with school shooting and stuff right now.  It's probably not the best advertising they can have right now," said Nicole Tarr who works at tanning salon next to the business.

Pinellas Power Sports isn't the first to do this. A couple years ago, a truck dealership in Sanford also offered a voucher for a free A-K 47 assault riffle. 

Pownall said it's just good business. They are not carrying the guns on property, they are just meeting demand.

"We can understand the frustration and stuff but really wanted to get out there and promote our business and this is what we chose," said Pownall.

Yeager ended up choosing a voucher for the classes, but has no problem with customers choosing the gun voucher.

"There is a whole lot going on right now and everyone is looking for a way to protect their family," said Yeager

But not everyone sees it that way.  Art Hayhoe with the Florida Coalition Against Gun Violence said, "What they are doing is legal, but we object. This is just another way of getting more guns on the streets. We don't agree."

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