Smyrna gun store owner defends his gun raffle promotion
by Jon Gillooly
October 24, 2012 04:01 PM | 14751 views | 34 34 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jay Wallace of Adventure Outdoors (MDJ file photo)
Jay Wallace of Adventure Outdoors (MDJ file photo)
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Adventure Outdoors assistant manager Nick Wallace holds a Browning X-Bolt rifle and displays a Glock handgun Wednesday at the Smyrna store. The guns are the prizes of a raffle open to those who vote. The raffle will take place after the election and the main goal is to encourage people to become involved in the voting process, said store owner Jay Wallace.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Adventure Outdoors assistant manager Nick Wallace holds a Browning X-Bolt rifle and displays a Glock handgun Wednesday at the Smyrna store. The guns are the prizes of a raffle open to those who vote. The raffle will take place after the election and the main goal is to encourage people to become involved in the voting process, said store owner Jay Wallace.
Staff/Laura Moon
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Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna is conducting a raffle to win a rifle or gun for those who vote and has opened the offer to anyone else who wishes to participate.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna is conducting a raffle to win a rifle or gun for those who vote and has opened the offer to anyone else who wishes to participate.
Staff/Laura Moon
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SMYRNA — Before his gun raffle promotion made national headlines and state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) called for its end, Adventure Outdoors owner Jay Wallace quietly contacted the Georgia Secretary of State’s office to ensure it was legal. A Friday letter from Chris Harvey, chief investigator for the Georgia Secretary of State, to Wallace clears the promotional campaign, in which someone can enter a Nov. 12 drawing for a Browning rifle and a Glock handgun.

“In our conversation on this matter this morning, you clarified that it was not your intention to restrict the opportunity to enter the drawing only to people who voted, and that anyone who requested to enter the drawing for the free firearm would be allowed to enter, regardless of whether they voted,” Harvey wrote in his Friday letter.

The question arose because the eight billboards promoting the campaign feature a picture of the “I’m a Georgia voter” sticker handed out at polls and read “Vote. Win a rifle.” Underneath those words, the sentence “Bring your Georgia voter sticker in for a chance to win a Browning rifle” appears in smaller type.

However, a sign displayed in the store informs customers that “all Georgia residents are eligible that can legally purchase and possess a firearm.

No purchase or specific action is required to participate.” 

In a letter dated Monday, Fort wrote to Secretary of State Brian Kemp to complain about Wallace’s promotion.

“In accordance with the law, and to make sure our voting process is maintained with the highest integrity, I urge you to order Adventure Outdoors to cease and desist all attempts to have a giveaway in exchange for voting,” Fort wrote.

Fort told the Journal that after seeing a media report on the promotion, he recalled four years ago when Starbucks and Krispy Kreme offered free products to customers for voting. Then-Secretary of State Karen Handel ordered them to refrain from such action.

“What the stores essentially did is expand their offer to all customers, and they made it kind of an Election Day special, and that’s legal, so when I saw this promotion it was obviously out of order — illegal, as a matter of fact — doing what they did is punishable as a felony, that’s why I wrote my letter to Brian Kemp,” Fort said.

But Wallace, who has raffled off firearms in previous presidential elections, is allowing everyone to participate in the giveaway, whether they voted or not.

Wallace said the promotion is intended to get people to think about the election.

“It’s not only to encourage people to vote, it’s encouraging people to get involved in the process,” he said. “What we want to do is we want people to talk with one another and pay attention to what our politicians are doing.”

Wallace responded to a comment Fort made to the AJC, in which Fort said the promotion violates state law prohibiting anyone from offering money or gifts in exchange for voting or registering to vote. “Well, we’re not exchanging any gifts or telling anyone how to vote or to vote, so I think the good senator is confused,” Wallace said.

In a Tuesday letter, Kemp told Fort that “our investigation team met with the manager of the store … and he told our office that no proof of voting was necessary to enter the raffle.”

In other words, as long as Wallace keeps the raffle open to anyone, it does not constitute a violation, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office said.

Wallace said while he doesn’t know Fort, he has a few questions for him.

“If we had a raffle, would he want us to exclude voters?” Wallace asked. “What if we put up a billboard that said ‘we’ll take you to and from the voting polls for free,’ would he be OK with that?”

Fort said he would be.

“That’s legal,” Fort said. “What Mr. Wallace should do is just comply with the law. If the law is good for Krispy Kreme or Starbucks or whomever, the law is good enough for him.”

As for Wallace’s remarks about opening up the raffle to everyone, Fort said the billboards make no mention of that.

“He doesn’t say when he expanded it or give any supporting documentation about it being open to other people. I think he ought to change the billboards,” Fort said. “I may follow up with the letter with the Secretary of State asking him to request the billboard be changed, but we’ll see. I’m getting the impression that (Wallace) could care less or doesn’t really care if people vote or not. It’s a promotion. It’s advertising, and that’s what he’s concerned about.”

Wallace said he wants to thank Fort for complaining about him.

“I appreciate him bringing this to further light for people to see. He’s done a good job,” Wallace said.

This isn’t the first time Wallace has locked horns with elected officials.

In 2006, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sued Wallace, seven other gun shops in Georgia and several others around the country, alleging they had created a public nuisance with illegal sales of firearms that ended up on the streets of New York.

Wallace said the case was resolved in his favor last year when the court found that Adventure Outdoors is not subject to personal jurisdiction in New York based on the New York long-arm statute and constitutional due process principles.

“We took it to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and they agreed with us,” Wallace said.

Wallace, who plans to vote for Mitt Romney for president, said the attention comes from being successful. “I’m probably an easy target, I suppose. We advertise and we work hard and we try to be a shining example in our industry, and so the people that don’t like what we do try to knock the guys that are off the top.”

 

Comments
(34)
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L D Alston
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October 27, 2012
I voted for President Obama. He has done nothing to endanger gun ownership. He is on his way to becoming a great president. Romney's record in Mass. tends to show that he will do more damage to the second amendment, or maybe he won't. Can't tell what he will do.

I do believe that this billboard is a good idea. You do not tell people who to vote for, but it is insinuated because of the lies about President Obama and gun rights. People need to vote. I wish I lived close enough to turn in my sticker.
KE Price
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November 02, 2012
"... nothing to endanger gun ownership" is a complete and total farce! Pres Obama had tried, albeit not succeeded, to pass a UN Treaty banning small arms in the US. It's the one loophole that would allow the 2nd Amendment to be bypassed. Obama has proven this through past actions that this administration is the biggest threat to 2nd amendment freedoms in this nation's history. Wake up. Gun control isn't effective at keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. "Gun Control" is only good at getting votes from ignorant citizens.
ScottInKy
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October 26, 2012
No surprise here, a democrat trying to stop a sporting goods store from encouraging gun owners and enthusiasts from going out and voting. Of course the dems don't want gun owners out voting because there is no way that any gun owner is going to vote for Odummy with the way him and Hilary have been pushing the UN Small Arms Treaty. And has anyone noticed that the whole deal with them and their work with the UN on the arms treaty has been completely unmentioned on the major networks. They will bash the crap out of Fox for leaning right, but none of them will admit how completely liberally biased they all are. Typical BS we have come to expect from the left.
Joe Corrales
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October 26, 2012
Do I have to be a GA. resident to qualify for the giveaway,my son votes in Ga. and He took me to your store about a month ago, I enjoy the store and all it carry, a one stop shopping, I spend almost all day there also I submitted another comment Jay Wallace of Adventure Outdoors I wish you all the luck you need to continued your outstanding job in your advertisement I support you also I am a FLA. voter.
Joe Corrales
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October 26, 2012
I am a Veteran,I belong to the NRA,I belong to the VFW Post 255 FLA.,I have Rifles,Shotguns and Hand guns.I am for the 2nd Amendment to bear arms. My son lives in Ga.and Jay Wallace of Adventure Outdoors is doing a great job,posting a free give away for qualify people with just a reminder to go out and vote just like all those nusiance advertisment on TV.I don't see the difference, Jay is not in favor of any particular runners.
Holly Walquist
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October 25, 2012
Thank you for encouraging everyone to vote as that is what is so important these days. FYI: I would have rather you offered a gift certificate to your store, so that if I won I would have the option to select what I want to purchase. And If you want to give a gun as the prize then at least let the public understand the rules to gun ownership if not familiar with them should they win. That way they don't think a gun will be handed to them without the regular gun law procedure. Other than that thank you once again for the encouragement to VOTE.
Costy Pawlowski
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October 25, 2012
I support Adventure Outdoors, Mr. Wallace and family, I want to thank you for all your hard work, and for supporting the second amendment.
Rights Patriot D
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October 25, 2012
Thank you so much for bringing attention to the need to get up off your rump and VOTE. I voted today and then headed to one of my favorite businesses. Every employee is responsible, curteous and knows their stuff. Look at all the candidates and decide on the best choices. Look at the voting records, not what they are saying to obtain votes in the current election. Look at what they have delivered and what they have promised and not delivered. I also want to thank those who have brought even more attention to this need to vote to protect your rights whether it be gun rights or something else that interests you as a voter. Apathy is the greatest enemy; ignorance is the next. Thank you; thank you; thank you. When you are right - stand up and look them in the eye and declare you are right -and you know it.
Jonathanc1
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October 25, 2012
I think Mr. Wallace is a great business man. There is not a thing wrong with this raffle. I applaud Mr. Wallace for standing up and fighting for what he believes in. An honorable American!!! I myself will be voting for Romney and anyone who cares or is concerned for this county would do the same. Mr. Romney is a very successful businessman and would help this county get back on its feet and help get us out of so much debt. Democrats criticize the rich but they pay the majority of the taxes and have worked they're "butts" off to become wealthy and successful. If more Americans had the same work ethic we would be in a lot better shape. But most Americans are just looking for a free handout. Work hard and work smart. Save your money and people would be much better off. People should listen to Mr. Boortz he could educate many people about the true mess that this country is in. I applaud both Mr. Wallace also Mr. Boortz. Maybe Popeye's or KFC could do a raffle for a free 3 piece fried chicken meal for those who vote. That would probably put them out of business and get less criticism than this raffle. That would be GREAT!!! But sadly it may backfire for the presidential campaign became you would have every bottom feeder or the " people that feel they are owed something for nothing" out voting. God bless America!!!! Go Mr. Romney and thank you Mr. Wallace , Neil Boortz and Herman Cain! True Americans that care to better this country!!!
Amy Barnes
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November 13, 2012
I personally back the gun store's promotion - people need more opportunities at self-sufficiency and a raffle is an excellent and smart way for businesses to drum up and promote the VERY patriotic activity of voting.

IF you don't vote, shame on you! People fought and died for the right to vote - I consider my vote a duty as an American. We vote with every dollar we spend, we vote with every comment we make, so I myself am voting FOR the raffle and FOR our freedom to give away what we please.

Thank you, Jay Wallace, for being patriotic and promoting the Vote I do support Senator Fort's right to speak out against this, as we have a First Amendment right to say what we please. I also support, however, the store's raffle and encourage them to do it again! Mr. Wallace, I am proud of your success and am an occasional customer - your store has some really good clothing and tents :D It's WORTH a trip out to your store.

God bless America!
David Fige
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October 25, 2012
This is an AWESOME Store first class folks too... I heard about this store from O'Neill Outside Radio Show, I hope they get tons of Business from this promotion!!!!!!
Fred4352addyfo Ro
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October 25, 2012
So free owebowmao phones aren't a bribe to vote? But entering a contest is????
kkgriswold
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October 25, 2012
I love my country, but o how i fear my government. Everything is a lie. Barry sotoro/bar oboma. Pay offs, deceit, pork, bribes, buddy buddy, its all about the $.

Where did barry get the $ for 6 yrs college. Where did barry get the $ for 1,650,ooo.oo house? Follow the money trail. Its all dishonest, to rule us like puppets. Guns r for us, protection, from our evil, corrupt, dictatorship, so sad, what a sham and embarrasent to be an american. Pathetic leader.

Amen
Seve Friend
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October 25, 2012
It doesn't say that only those who vote can enter the raffle. It says you can bring in the voter sticker and enter. It does not say that they will be the only ones eligible to enter. I rhink it is a good way to just bring the election the attention of all who see the billboard.
Stephen Koch
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October 25, 2012
Fort should be investigated for harassment and misuse of public funds.
Paul D. Babaz
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October 25, 2012
I've known Jay Wallace and his family for 20 years. You won't find a more honest, lawabiding, hardworking businessman. Jay's success has made him a target for the liberals, but Jay sticks by his beliefs and his constitutional rights! Jay stuck by his guns (No Pun Intended) when Mayor Bloomberg went after him and other lawabiding businesses, but Jay prevailed because he was right and the same will hold true in regards to Senator Fort. Keep up the good work Jay, we're al behind you! Paul
R D
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October 25, 2012
How convenient that a Democratic Politician can seem to interpret the law to RESTRICT rights, while espousing the idea that they support citizens rights. Keep at it Jay!

I am going to buy a gun on November 6th, from Jay.

And Mr Fort. How about you go start a business, become successful, and you too can have advertising on a billboard.
Cool Ray Gun
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October 25, 2012
"How convenient that a Democratic Politician can seem to interpret the law to RESTRICT rights, while espousing the idea that they support citizens rights..."

Sadly That's what the democrats do.

Go Jay!

Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Smyrna gun store offers gun raffle tickets to voters
Richard Hughes, Sr.
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October 25, 2012
I support Adventure Outdoors and the owner Jay Wallace. Adventure Outdoors is a well run hunting and gun business that supports our community. It is good and patriotic to offer a qualified person the opportunity to win a gun. It is patriotic to own a gun to protect yourself and your family, if needed. This still is AMERICA. Only qualified responsible people can legally own a gun. If this encourages people to vote, then that's another plus.
Jack Hall
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October 25, 2012
I have great respect and admiration for Jay. I've known him since I was a police officer in LaGrange. It's about time more people stood up to the far left and Jay has demonstrated several times he won't be intimidated when he knows he is right. Way to go Jay!!!
Connie Mack Jr
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October 25, 2012
No doubt if the Raffle works out and 8 million Republicans in Georgia vote for Romney and it leds to a Republican Paradise in Georgia. We can expect the next Raffle to have a Used M-1 Abrams Battle Tank from Oamar Discount Tank Services on the Next Billboard Campaign..
Dog3876
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October 25, 2012
Wallace is not paying people to vote, he is encouraging to vote. But based on the logic of Senator Fort, we would have to lock up all the poll workers. They give out stickers as an award for voting. Can I get a sticker if I don't vote? Seems illegal.
anonymous
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October 25, 2012
Jay Wallace has done a shred bit of marketing. First, by doing something completely honorable and patriotic by encouraging people to vote, he has also offered them an incentive to visit his store. I commend his marketing savvy.
Jimmy Durham
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October 25, 2012
Good job Jay. We need more folks like you out there to speak up for the protection of our 2nd amendment rights. I plan to stop in to see you soon.
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