back to article RadioShack franchises go gunning for business

A couple of US RadioShack franchises are offering new subscribers to a satellite TV service a handy accessory should the quality of the service prove wanting - a free firearm. Steve Strand, owner of a RadioShack outlet in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, says subscriptions to the Dish Network package have tripled since he started …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. hplasm

    A step above -

    the RS battery club...

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Maybe they could lend some of their arms to Maine's switchblade users?


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only in USA!

    "subscriptions to the Dish Network package have tripled since he started giving away pistols and shotguns last autumn"

    WOAH, WTF? Talk about sdrawkcab. Well done yanks, we already think your a bit "woo hoo" and now you know why!

    1. kns2c

      Montana and Idaho

      Not that I condone firearms as freebies, but you have to understand the size and diversity of the USA. Even one of the store owners admits that "this isn't New York City". If this was happening in Connecticut it might be newsworthy, but in Montana and Idaho gun ownership is close to 60% anyway.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Moving to Montanta soon

    Going to be a mental Dish tycoon..

    1. BorkedAgain
      Thumb Up

      Raisin' it up...

      ...waxin' it down

      Thanks for the happy memory... :)

  4. TeeCee Gold badge

    Repeat business.

    Giving away shotguns with a satellite TV subscription? Makes eminent sense to me.

    I reckon that ensuring that your customers have a loaded shotgun handy while watching satellite TV has to be one of the best ways of ensuring healthy telly sales.

  5. Stuart 22 Silver badge

    Be sure, be very sure ...

    No returns, please check your firearm works before leaving the premises ... oh ...

  6. Pete 43

    That'll help with the installs

    Who needs a drill?

  7. Gulfie

    Bang on target...

    ... with the sales pitch. Radio Shack are aiming high, shooting from the hip and generally having a blast. Good on them.


    OK, coat.

    PS on the positive side I bet they make damn sure customer are satisfied. I know I would if I was giving away a free firearm with every purchase, don't want an irate and newly armed customer coming back into the shop to complain...

  8. Captain Hogwash

    Watch TV... Elvis.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Different demographic from Detroit?

    That is so not racist: Detroit is full of dark-skinned criminals while Montana is full of light-skinned ranchers.

    Stereotyping much?

    1. Alex Walsh


      Don't try to play the race card. If you google gun crime in Detroit, the first article that comes up is entitled Is Baghdad Safer Than Chicago or Detroit? Since the death of Motor City (cheers Toyota for your well made and sensible cars), Detroit has been a city of mass unemployment, gang membership and crime. Everyone who saw the Top Gear Detroit special knows you'll die there if you're male and have a perm :)

      1. Equitas


        in 1976, when I lived there, was a bit paranoid, but I saw less violent crime there than in London or Edinburgh.

  10. Clark Coffman
    Thumb Up

    Good demographics based marketing here IMO

    Earlier today I was reading an article else where about Arizona allowing hand guns on college campus' and that sort of bothered me, then I see this article's headline and thought "No way" until

    I started reading the article and see we're talking Montana and Idaho here.

    Then my thought's changed to "Smart marketing dudes". Montana and Idaho are very rural, mountainous states. Their residents in general grow up using firearms. North Dakota where I currently live is similar.

    I own no guns though I do like to fire them. A girl friend, on the other hand, who was born and raised in North Dakota own's two different 22 pistols, a Glock and a 22 rifle. She knows how to use them and enjoys taking them to a gun club to shoot.

    If you were in New York city you'd probably offer a free iPad or iPod or something along those lines that your customers find of value, in a place like the middle northern states in the US offering guns is actually perfectly logical and good marketing, as the results of their sales seem to prove.

    The situation sounds strange if you don't know the locales that are being mentioned.

  11. blodwyn

    Some places you need a gun

    As a non-gun-owning ex-Pat Brit who now lives in the US, and not a fan of widespread gun ownership, I have to concede that there are parts of the US where having a gun makes sense. Montana is one of those places. The wildlife in those parts will eat you if they get the chance. You can't fight a bear/cougar/pack of wolves without some kind of firearm and expect to survive. Even in the suburbs it's not unknown for hungry bears and cougars to raid the garbage bins in your back garden, or break into your car to get groceries. As much as I don't like general gun ownership, if I moved to Montana I'd be down the local RS or gun store buying weapons for myself and my family and booking us into a firearms training class.

    1. Barry Rueger

      Bears and Wolves Oh MY!

      Nonsense @blodwyn. Here on the North Shore of Vancouver it's routine to have bears wander through the nieghbourhood, and the nearby forests are home to cougars of both the two and four legged varieties.

      Being Canadians we don't immediately run out and start shooting varmints. Mostly we learn to understand the critters, keep the garbage securely locked down, and stay indoors until Yogi has passed on though.

      Funny that - it's possible to coexist with other creatures.

      'Course if you need an AKG to fight off the pack of marauding wolves eating the McDonald's wrappers in your trash can...

      1. g e

        An AKG?

        You can scare off varmints with a high quality condenser mic?

        <coat />

  12. Dan Beshear

    You're behind the curve this time

    El Reg is my source for news on the latest, the greatest, the worst, and the OMGWTFBBQ, usually 12-36 hours before traditional media catch on to the story. This time you folks are 2 weeks BEHIND the news curve. This news item broke here on 25 March, and you're just now reporting on it?!?!

    BTW demographics has ALWAYS been about profiling and pigeon-holing (not to be confused with pigeon-eating or corn-holing). The judgment in the use of the demographic data determines whether racism is involved.

    1. tony trolle

      I sent

      a report in days ago....

  13. Creative Admirer

    Dish Issued Statement

    I want to clarify, as a DISH Network employee, that DISH issued this statement about what these independent electronics retailers are doing:

    DISH Network is not providing any marketing or advertising support for any promotions relating to firearms, and we require our retailers to adhere to all local, state and federal laws in connection with their promotions and marketing activities.

  14. netandsec

    They’re just firearms

    I will have to admit: I don’t understand the growing stigma against firearms. Most people I know either have a gun — or one of their nuclear family members has a gun — yet I know of none, excluding policemen, who has ever has used a gun in a violent act against another. As a testament to our former laissez-faire attitudes in the U.S., I have worked in high schools that still have an old rifle shooting range in their basements (I install and service networking and security equipment).

    I live in upstate New York where we have tough pistol licensing requirements seemingly only because we share a state government with the fascist hell-hole on our southeast islands. Our neighboring state, Vermont, with whom we are more alike than NYC, has virtually no handgun regulations — you can buy a pistol and carry it freely, no license or registration required — yet, among U.S. states, they are ranked among the bottom three for violent crime, probably lower than many Euro countries with impossibly strict regulations. (Montana is in the bottom ten of U.S. states.) When examining the facts alone and without bias, it is hard to conclude a concrete relationship between lax gun regulations or incidence of ownership and violent crime rates, much less any causative one, regardless of what effect one believes mass gun ownership has upon crime.

    Myself, I have both a shotgun and a rifle. I bought the 12ga; the 22 rifle was given to me — despite our retarded handgun laws, NY state is still relaxed about long guns. However, contrary to the NRA’s position, I don’t have them for hunting or protection; I’ve never hunted a day in my life and I don’t expect any home invaders in this part of the state. They just sit in a rack in my bedroom wall, at the ready should I desire to shoot clays, targets, or a dying animal. (When my cat, whom I dearly loved, became deathly ill, I mentally prepared myself in case I needed to end his pain. In the end, though, the vet put him down).

    While I know that guns are unpopular even among the internet libertarians of the “I.T. persuasion”, please respect and protect our liberties, including gun ownership. Don’t allow it to become another moral panic; we have too many already.

    1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit


      Well put. The general public does not understand and has no desire ever to do so. We have the same problem over here though much less with all forms of firearm tightly regulated.

      Tell a town dweller that a farmer is teaching his 14 year old son to shoot or worse bought the son a shotgun of his own and the moral outrage switch is instantly flipped in 9 out of 10 cases. They do not want to hear about the foxes that will kill all the chickens in the shed but only carry one away as that is all it needs to feed it's young. They don't want to know about the fluffy spring ducklings carried off to a grizzly end by rats and crows. Tell them that father and son enjoy shooting clays on a Sunday and the assumption is both are wierdos that need locking up.

      The simple fact is that humans are lazy and attempting to see an issue from the other persons perspective is an effort few are prepared to make.

  15. JP 6

    More information

    While the store GIVES a coupon good for a gun, whoever has the coupon must still qualify for gun ownership. It is not automatic.

  16. Slim Chance
    Thumb Up

    Great Idea

    You're watching your new satellite TV and the thing goes dead.

    Look out of the window and see a red neck running away with your dish.

    Get out your free firearm courtesy of your thoughtful radio shack, pop a cap in the thiefs ass and put your dish back while the kind policeman takes the perp to jail.

    Radio Shack, I love them, they think of everything ;-)

  17. Major Variola

    Single shot not good enough

    wtf good is a single load shotgun, when the tyrants our constitution warns us about have fully authomatic rifles?

    guess we'll have to go for the arsenals first.

    terror works, ask the IRA

  18. Mkelley

    guns ok here

    I am a life-long Montanan, and I think the 60% estimate of gun ownership here is very low. I bet it is closer to 90%. Most of the men I work with have several rifles, handguns, and shotguns each. Semi-auto assault rifles like AR's in .223 caliber have gotten quite popular the last few years, and a couple guys at my plant have 50 caliber rifles. Criminals here are much more nervous (and rare) here than they are over in states and countries where decent people have been disarmed.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021