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Truck dealer aims to spike Web traffic with free AK-47s

Owner of truck dealership offers a free rifle with every truck sold. Last year, he offered a free handgun and saw a spike in Web traffic and 35 extra vehicles sold.

In this tough economy, forearmed is better than forewarned.

At least that seems to be the view of Mark Muller, owner of Max Motors in Clay County, Mo. Because, in August, he is offering a free AK-47 with every vehicle sold.

You might think this promotion a little on the eccentric side. However, Muller is no lily-livered Collapsenikov.

He believes in standing up for one's right to defend oneself. Indeed, he has a motto for his dealership that expresses his feelings very clearly: "God, Guns, Guts and American Pick-up Trucks."

You might wonder how on earth he came to devise such an outlandish, and perhaps slightly unnerving, promotion.

Well, last year he offered a free handgun. And, in an interview with CNN (embedded here), he said: "It spiked our Web traffic and we sold, we estimate, 35 more cars during the promotion than we normally would have."

So the seductive power of the gun seems to work on those who choose the Web to find the best deals.

This year, Muller said, he is looking to sell 100 extra vehicles, hence the attempt to locate your inner Rambo.

Muller explained to CNN: "Look, there's a bunch of evil in the world and we need to protect ourselves."

He added: "There's a tremendous crime problem around here with people doing meth. These people have lost their souls. They don't care about you. They don't care about me. They care about getting more dope."

Hence the need, according to Muller, for something stronger than a little handgun.

In case you were wondering whether he will have a pile of AKs in his showroom, from the top of which he'll take one and present it to every purchaser, well, it's not quite so glamorous.

He will offer a voucher that the lucky truck-owner can take down to a gun store and go through the proper vetting procedure before he gets his precious free gift. Which, should you suddenly feel the urge to pack extra protection, will set you back a mere $450.

However, Muller is keen to point out that just because he lives in a more rural area, this promotion is not indicative of some sort of uncultured nature on his part.

He was quoted in the Telegraph as explaining: "They think we are all cross-eyed rednecks down here. We are not. Tonight I am going to the theater with my wife to see Anything Goes and we will eat sushi on the way."

I am sure there will be at the very least a handgun tickling his hip as he nibbles on his rainbow roll.

However, I feel confident that Muller's strategy will prove to be a good one.

Next year, when he looks to send his Web traffic soaring in an attempt to sell 200 more vehicles, I feel sure he will offer bazookas, a mortar or two, perhaps even a rocket launcher.