HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) — BenShot, a local glassmaking company in Wisconsin, gifted all of their employees with handguns for Christmas.
The company said every employee received a handgun of their choice.
In a picture the Hortonville-based company sent to Local 5 News, 19 employees are seen holding their new firearms.
Ben Wolfgram, the son in the father-son team at BenShot, said:
We are a small, close-knit team at BenShot.
I want to make sure all of our employees are safe and happy – a handgun was the perfect gift.”
In a phone call with Local 5, BenShot owner Ben and Media Relations Manager Chelsea Priest went into more detail regarding what went into the gift catching the nation’s attention.
On social media, many viewers expressed curiosity about background checks.
As it turns out, Ben and Chelsea explained the actual guns were picked up individually by each employee, meaning background checks were conducted at the point of purchase.
BenShot asked employees — 16 full-time total — to visit a local gun store of their choice and pick out the gun they wanted.
After doing so, the employees informed BenShot the price of the gun and the company provided a gift card worth up to $500 to go toward the final purchase.
Some employees bought guns that were more expensive than $500 but those employees made up the difference on their own.
BenShot’s owner explained that Wisconsin background checks are pretty quick:
After returning to the local gun store with the gift card, employees received their gun within about an hour or so of the check.”
The Christmas gift didn’t end there, however.
BenShot paid for and brought in a gun safety seminar by MK Protection Strategies, a certified gun safety training provider.
Ben tells Local 5 nearly all of his employees attended the training program.
In BenShot’s initial news release, the company reported all employees received handguns, however in a clarification, the company told Local 5 the Christmas gift was for a gun of their choice up to $500 — not necessarily just handguns.
Furthermore, BenShot went on to say two ladies actually declined the option to buy a gun, even after attending safety training, so the company instead provided them with $500 Visa gift cards.
In asking where the idea to gift guns came from, Ben and Chelsea explained they wanted to give a gift that was “fun and memorable.”
They went on to explain the gift wasn’t as random as it may have seemed. The company, as a whole, embraces gun culture and is famous for making glassware with a bullet embedded.
Chelsea said they knew the gift would generate some local attention but they didn’t expect this big of a response:
We knew it would catch traction, but the support of the customers and the gun community has been very exciting.
We’re so grateful for the overwhelming support.”