If you’re in the market for a used car, you’re probably looking for good financing, cash back, and maybe a free set of floor mats. Mike Hagan thinks you’re setting your sights too low.
Hagan owns Hagan’s Motor Pool Auto Repair and Sales in Rochester, NH, and has been offering a free AR-15 to his customers since May. His promotion has received attention in the wake of the Orlando terrorist attack, though the shooter in that instance used a Sig Sauer MCX – not an AR-15.
All of Hagan’s customers also have to pass a background check at a local gun store before receiving their firearm. “If they don’t pass, they don’t get a firearm,” Hagan told Boston.com. “It’s that simple.”
Hagan’s buyers choose their firearm at the gun store and send Hagan the receipt. He does not keep the weapons on his property, and customers can choose to receive a handgun if they prefer.
None of this, of course, has stopped the media from drawing attention to Hagan’s promotion. The Boston.com article highlighted one Facebook commenter who whined, “You honestly trust any citizen to be responsible with one purely based on their ability to purchase a car? What kind of NH resident NEEDS one [of] these for protection?”
A local NH resident, Jen Marks, piled it higher: “To me that’s just getting more of the nutjobs out to do even more harm to people that don’t deserve it,” she said in an interview with NH1-TV,
Some have even accused Hagan of bigotry towards the LGBT community.
“Some of the negative feedback has accused me of being bigoted towards certain sexual orientations,” Hagan said in a Facebook post. “Anyone who knows me, knows this is the farthest thing from the truth. I believe regardless of race, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or any of that, you have a right to defend yourself. I believe in equality, and by learning how to properly and responsibly operate a firearm you make yourself equal with all who would attempt to attack you.”
Interestingly, Hagan’s comments align with certain members of the LGTB community who promote Second Amendment rights as a means to defend against attacks.
The Pink Pistols, an “international LGBT self-defense organization,” released a statement in the wake of the Orlando attack encouraging people “not to jump immediately to the assailant’s guns as the object of blame.”
“This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence,” said Gwendolyn Patton, First Speaker of the Pink Pistols. “At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul.”
Hagan agreed. When asked if he’s worried about his customers using their guns to commit crimes, he said, “I could worry about the same thing with a car being used to hurt other people. In the end, that kind of heinous crime is in the heart.”