HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WFRV) — BenShot, a Wisconsin glassmaking company, gifted all their employees with handguns for Christmas.
The company says every employee received a handgun of their choice.
In the picture sent to out Nexstar sister station WFRV by the Hortonville-based company, 19 employees are seen holding their new firearms.
Ben Wolfgram, son from the father and son team at BenShot, said “We are a small, close-knit team at BenShot. I want to make sure all employees are safe and happy. A handgun was the perfect gift.”
In a phone call with WFRV, BenShot owner Ben and Media Relations Manager Chelsea Priest went into more detail regarding what went into the gift catching the nation’s attention.
Some viewers expressed curiosity regarding 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 in all, 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 at which point the company provided a gift card worth up to $500 to go towards the final purchase.
Some employees bought guns that were more expensive than $500, but employees made up the difference on their own.
BenShot owner Ben 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 brought in and funded a gun safety seminar by MK Protection Strategies, a certified gun safety training provider.
Ben says nearly all of his employees attended the training program.
In BenShot’s initial news release it reported all employees received handguns, however, in a clarification, the company said 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 each $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 onto to explain the gift wasn’t as random as it may have seemed; the company as 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.”
BenShot started in the fall of 2015 and specializes in glassware with a bullet embedded into the side.