In a video that has gone viral, the owners of Digital Roofing Innovations promise to give customers a free AR-15 rifle after successfully installing a new roof.
"Donald Trump says, 'Make America great again.' I say, 'Make America gun again,'" co-owner Zach Blenkinsopp says in the ad. "If you sign up for a new room with Digital Roofing Innovations, you are going to get you a free AR-15 rifle after we complete the roof."
Residents in the area are calling the video over the top, but the owners say that's exactly the point. They argue that Alabama residents take pride in the right to bear arms.
"We don't have a huge budget right now for marketing, so what can we do that's super cheap that might go viral and this was it," co-owner Chris McGuire said in defense of the deal.
Blenkinsopp and McGuire started the company last year and created the promotional video to boost sales ahead of Independence Day.
"I'm not here to talk to you about roofing…rifle, I'm here to talk to you about AR-15 rifles if you sign up for a new roof with Digital Roofing Innovations, you are going to get you a free AR-15 rifle after we complete the roof," a shirtless Blenkinsopp says in the video while wearing American flag socks, shorts and cowboy boots.
"So I went to Walmart and found a women's size 11 for those shorts and, you know, they had some cool little props," he told WIAT.
People who purchase a roof will receive a voucher for a free gun. Those customers will still need to undergo the same background checks all prospective gun owners must complete.
"I posted this in extremely conservative Facebook groups and extremely liberal Facebook groups because I knew it would invoke emotion," McGuire told WIAT. "People are very concerned with us promoting violence, drinking with firearms… to kind of clear that up, nobody was drinking while shooting guns."
The video has racked up more than 220,000 views on Facebook since July 4. McGuire and Blenkinsopp say they have received calls from as far away as Australia -- and that the viral video has now landed them additional opportunities at home.
Some commenters were critical of the video. One Facebook user wrote, "I hope you idiots are found liable for every death committed by every gun you give away to people unlicensed and unfit."
"You get to choose what you believe in and if people don't like it then we don't care, we're going to continue to do our business and take care of our customers," Blenkinsopp added.
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