An auto dealer says sales have soared at his store in rural Butler, MO, since launching a promotion that promises buyers a free handgun or a gas card.

Max Motors, a small dealership that has as its logo a grimacing cowboy wielding a pistol, sold more than 30 cars and trucks in three days during the promotion, far more than usual. The dealership sells new and used General Motors and Ford products.

Owner Mark Muller credits the sales surge on his decision to offer buyers their choice of a $250 gas card or a $250 credit at a gun shop.

Every buyer so far “except one guy from Canada and one old guy” has elected to take the gun, he says.

He recommends his customers select a Kel-Tec .380 pistol. “It's a nice little handgun that fits in your pocket,” he says.

Gun possession is part of his region's way of life, he says. “We all go to church on Sunday and we all carry guns. I've got a gun in my pocket right now.”