It excited me to see an Alabama dealership offering people a free shotgun, American flag, and a Bible with a purchase. I started packing to head to the state for a new car even though I’m devoted to Toyota.

Well, the promotion did not last long. Ford told the dealership to end the promotion.


The original promotion that Chatom Ford in Chatom, about an hour north of Mobile, offered customers was a free King James Bible, an American flag and a 12-gauge shotgun with the purchase of a vehicle.

The dealership originally partnered with a local Chatom dealer, Andrews Ace Hardware and Seed Store, and the Athletic Locker in Waynesboro, Mississippi, for the giveaway. When participants in the deal bought a vehicle, they were handed a gift certificate to redeem at either of the stores to get their firearm, after going through required background checks, depending on which state they live in (the Bible and flag were handled by the dealership).

“Obviously, we’re not just running around willy-nilly and giving everybody a shotgun,” said Koby Palmer, the dealership’s sales manager.

The video promoting the giveaway, which was posted June 19 and had been expected to run through July 31, has been deleted. It showed Palmer explaining the deal, then pumping a shotgun.

“Ford Motor Company wasn’t aware or involved in this promotion,” said Ford spokesman Mark Truby, who said the dealership had promised to “stop talking about it as God, guns and glory.”


Did anyone really think the dealership would hand out guns to people without following state and federal gun laws?

A new post on Facebook explained that since Ford “manufacture(s) the products we are franchised to sell” the dealership decided to comply with Ford’s request.

Now Chatom Ford has a deal called God and Glory.

But Palmer said the dealership had the right idea. Companies have promotions that appeal to its audience. Guess what Alabama is like. They love their guns, religion, and America:

Palmer said dealership managers came up with the original promotion while brainstorming ways to celebrate the Fourth of July in a way that reflected the community’s values.

“They love their faith, they love their country, and they love to hunt,” he said.

The dealership received mostly positive feedback for the promotion:

One of those customers is Josh Lankford of Gulf Shores. He’d already contacted Palmer about what he was looking for when the promotion came up. Lankford said he saw the gifts with purchase as a nice bonus to his new pickup.

“It circles back to the great service and sales team that they have,” Lankford said.
“It’s great that they try to reflect the community’s values.”

I mean, come on, this Oklahoma girl got ready to abandon her Toyota love and buy a Ford from Chatom Ford.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.