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Pic: Orthodontist offers free gun to patients

A Glock 19 pistol is displayed on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Apr. 11, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Colton Brownlee)
November 10, 2023

An orthodontist practice in North Carolina has attracted unexpected attention by holding a two-day “Grins & Glocks” promotion that offered a free pistol to people who signed up to use Invisalign treatment.

According to WRAL News, Gladwell Orthodontics and Youngsville Gun Club & Range offered potential customers a choice between a Silver membership at the gun club or a free Glock 19 pistol, which is valued at over $500.

The New York Post shared a picture of the Gladwell Orthodontics promotion on X. The promotion encouraged people to sign up on Nov. 8-9 for the “Invisalign Treatment Special.” “Sign up for Invisalign treatment at Gladwell Orthodontics in Wake Forest on November 8th or in Raleigh on November 9th and receive a FREE Glock 19 or a YGC Silver Membership,” the advertisement said.

Asked whether the promotion was legal, Attorney Ron Shook from Gastonia, North Carolina, told WRAL that he had heard of similar promotions before.

“The concern here is that we’re not having firearms transferred to folks who do not qualify to possess them,” Shook stated. “This could be folks with criminal histories, mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse issues, restraining orders against them – or in the case of case of a handgun – under the age of 21.”

Nevertheless, the North Carolina attorney explained that the orthodontist office’s promotion is entirely legal. Shook pointed to the regulations that are in place pertaining to the legal transfer of firearms. According to WRAL, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has established guidance for the transfer of guns through private sales.

“Usually, these transactions are coordinated through a licensed firearms dealer to ensure a background check is conducted and the recipient can legally possess a firearm,” an ATF spokesperson told WRAL. “In other cases, a gift card to the partnering business is handed out so that the recipient can work directly with the licensed dealer on the purchase.”

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Youngsville Gun Club & Range’s owner, Kurt Lieberman, told WRAL that customers would be required to go to the store and complete the state’s required background checks to be eligible to receive the Glock 19 under the promotion.

“It’s a process. They have to come; they have to have a valid driver’s license. They have to be a legal citizen; they have to be 21 and older,” Lieberman said. “We do a background check here on site. That has to come back approved. They have to fill out all the paperwork.”

Gladwell Orthodontics owner Dr. Jason Gladwell, explained that the promotion did not apply to everyone. “Not everyone that comes into our office is going to be eligible; it’s not marketed to everyone,” he said. “It is solely designed and marketed for the Youngsville Gun Club and Range.” Gladwell also emphasized that the orthodontist’s promotion was “nontransferable.”

The orthodontist office’s partnership with Youngsville Gun Club & Range has attracted significant attention, with some people in the community expressing concerns about the promotion. Executive director of the North Carolina Council of Churches, Jennifer Copeland, expressed her concerns to WRAL regarding the partnership.

“They’re giving away guns that are going to be lodged in a house somewhere, and will potentially create gun violence and gun death,” she said. “It’s mind-blowing to me that an organization that I think of as trying to provide health care to the people in the community is partnering their healthcare with gun death.”