The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 14, 2013

As others pull back, Vegas amps up gun promotions

(Continued)

Machine Gun Las Vegas, which opened last winter, hires former go-go dancers as hostesses and sells its "femme fatale" package with the slogan, "There's nothing like the scent of Cordite in a woman's hair." (Cordite is an alternative to gunpowder).

"We give what people are asking for, whether it's the 'mob experience' and they want to test a Tommy gun, or a bachelor package, and they want a limo to take them to the club afterward," said Lianne Heck, marketing director at Range 702, which opened in October.

This year, shooting ranges are extending their tongue-in-cheek promotions to Valentine's Day, always a moneymaker in this matrimony-and-sex-obsessed town.

The Guns and Ammo Garage is offering free vow renewals by the "Pistol Packing Preacher" for one day only. The Gun Store has built a permanent "shotgun weddings" chapel, because nothing makes a memory quite like the sound of gunfire.

Bob MacDuff said his "I do's" there last July before posing with AK-47s for wedding pictures and going shooting with his 25 guests. He encourages others to celebrate their love with weapons in hand.

"For people who are gun people, you can't find a better option," said MacDuff, of Alberta, Canada.

In the wake of the Dec. 14 shootings, many companies curtailed their activities to avoid giving offense.

Groupon, the online coupon giant, halted gun-related promotions, video game company Electronic Arts scrubbed its website of links to weapons retailers and the 3-D printing company MakerBot began removing blueprints for guns from its database.

Fox pulled episodes of "Family Guy" and "American Dad" that made jokes about the punishment of children.

British tabloids chided Las Vegas gun ranges for failing to follow suit.

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