Gun admirers flock to US car dealership

Forget electric windows and parking sensors – an American car dealership is tempting its customers with an unusual “optional extra”: a Kalashnikov.

While the US auto industry virtually collapsed during the economic crisis, sales in a car shop in Butler, Missouri, are going through the roof.

AK-47 assault rifles have turned it into a magnet for gun lovers from all over the country. Sales there are up 200% and the phone is ringing off the hook.

“Our first right is freedom of speech, our second right is the right to bare arms. Without guns, we are subjects – with guns, we are citizens,” said Mark Muller, the owner.

However, it is Dave Diener CEO of a PR company, who helped Mark come up with the unusual method of pleasing customers with Kalashnikovs.

“I am an advertising marketing genius,” Diener said. “I say, Mark, you should really beef it up, give away an AK-47, something a little bit different.”

Created by Russian gun maker Mikhail Kalashnikov, it is the most widely-used assault weapon in the world.

At a market price of about $500, a Kalashnikov is more than a steal for anyone with weapon mania.

Despite the fact that some are outraged with the promotion, calling it barbaric, the men from Missouri do not care. Apart from the inflow of cash, they say they are protecting the right of American citizens to keep and bear arms – the US Constitution’s second amendment.

“Hitler took away guns in Berlin – and you’ve seen what he did,” they said.

Meanwhile, while the current promotion campaign runs until the end of August, the businessmen say their next surprise will be even bigger.