Take a Shot at Love: Las Vegas Gun Range Offers Valentine's Day Packages

Thursday, 14 Feb 2013 09:43 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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A Las Vegas gun range's Valentine's Day "take a shot at love" packages are in "poor taste," gun-control advocates say, claiming the packages are an in-your-face promotion of firearms.

Capitalizing on Nevada's relaxed gun-control laws, one Las Vegas range offers 50 submachine gun rounds as part of its Valentine's Day package. Another package allows brides and grooms to pose with Uzis and ammunition belts, and a third invites lovebirds in to renew their vows at the range.

"While Las Vegas gun promoters present assault rifles with high-capacity ammunition magazines as harmless Valentine's Day props, the vast majority of Americans understand their true role: military-bred weapons that threaten police and public safety," Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C., told The Associated Press.

Sugarmann is a native of Newtown, Conn., the site of the deadly Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting.

In a town saturated with gun ranges, many businesses are upping the ante to stay competitive. Machine Gun Las Vegas employs former go-go dancers as hostesses and is known for its femme fatale package.

"There's nothing like the scent of Cordite in a woman's hair," its slogan says (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," Lianne Heck, marketing director at Las Vegas' Range 702, told the AP.

This flippant, tongue-in-cheek attitude toward gun control offends some people, who are still reeling from Sandy Hook and other massacres like last summer's movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.

"These gun stores and shooting ranges offer bad puns in poor taste in their efforts to put a happy face on firearms, yet each day more than 86 Americans die from gun violence," Sugarmann told the AP.

As national debate swirls, President Barack Obama has proposed new gun-control policies that would ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines on the streets, and strengthen the background-check system.

Related stories:

NRA Chief: Gun Controls Won't Pass Congress

Sen. Feinstein: Gun Control Faces Uphill Climb

Actor Bruce Willis Opposes Obama's Gun-Control Proposal

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