As part of a promotion, Gladwell Orthodontics and Youngsville Gun Club & Range are giving certain customers their pick between a Silver membership at the Youngsville Gun Club & Range or a free Glock 19, which retails for more than $500.
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.
“Guns are like other property; You can buy and sell and dispose of them. But the distinction is guns are potentially inherently dangerous. So, there is regulation surrounding the transfer of firearms,” Shook explained.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has guidance on best practices when transferring guns through a private sale, as opposed to a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL).
An ATF spokesperson told WRAL, “Usually these transactions are coordinated through a licensed firearms dealer to ensure a background check is conducted and the recipient can legally possess a firearm. In other cases, a gift card to the partnering business is handed out so that the recipient can work directly with the licensed dealer on the purchase.”
In this case, Youngsville Gun Club & Range owner Kurt Lieberman said customers will need to go into the store in order to complete the necessary background checks and requirements in order to actually receive the gun.
“It’s a process. They have to come; they have to have a valid driver’s license. They have to be a legal citizen; they have to be 21 and older. We do a background check here on site. That has to come back approved. They have to fill out all the paperwork,” Lieberman explained.
Additionally, 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.”
For people who opt for the silver membership, Lieberman said it comes with free lane time at the range and other miscellaneous discounts and merchandise.
Nonetheless, people are still concerned by their decision to partner. Jennifer Copeland, the executive director of the NC Council of Churches said she was speechless when she heard of the promotion.
“They’re giving away guns that are going to be lodged in a house somewhere, and will potentially create gun violence and gun death,” Copeland said. “It’s mind blowing to me, that an organization that I think of as trying to provide health care to the people in the community is partnering their healthcare with gun death.”
She said background checks are the minimum, required by state law.
“I’m pleased that they’re going to follow the minimalist gun laws that we have in North Carolina. Let’s be clear, they’re very minimal in North Carolina, but at least they are going to follow those. The fact remains that after we go through these checks, they’re going to give a gun to somebody who’s going to take it home, and it will be in their home,” Copeland said.
Gladwell said the promotion got more attention than they expected, having done partnerships with other local businesses in the past.
“We would love if people could pay attention to some of our other charitable donations and campaigns. Last month, we did $50 for every patient that got started to the Mitchell 10Penny Fund to support cancer and families affected by cancer.”
Click the button below to watch the interview featuring Jennifer Copeland, Executive Director.