A Wisconsin-based novelty glassware company is turning heads after it decided to gift employees handguns for Christmas in lieu of a traditional cash bonus. Ben Wolfgram, who co-owns BenShot with his son, gifted every one of his 16 employees the gun of their choice for the holidays. “I want to make sure all (of our) employees are safe and happy—a handgun was the perfect gift,” Wolfgram told WBAY.
BenShot, which produces novelty glassware embedded with a bullet, decided its annual holiday gift would help promote personal safety and team building https://t.co/czl0G27SLw— USA TODAY Money (@USATODAYmoney) November 14, 2018
Wolfgram went on to add that some of his employees have never fired a weapon and two of them initially turned down the offer; however, he says they are reconsidering after learning that a gun safety course is required before they receive the guns. In addition, Wolfgram opted to give them gift cards so that they could select their firearm and undergo the appropriate background check from the arms dealer. He says that he chose this bonus over cash because he wanted his employees to “treat themselves to something” rather than use gifted money for mundane things like bills.
Chelesea Priest, who works in BenShot’s media relations department, told WISN 12 News that she believes owning a gun would help keep her safe. “Thank you so much for empowering us not to be victims, because you never know,” she said. “Obviously, you see in the news all the time, you know, stuff happens and it’s a tragedy that things do happen. But for (Ben) to stand for something and for the company to stand for keeping us safe, it’s really awesome for them to do that.”
Wolfgram said he isn’t concerned that buying his employees weapons will trigger any workplace violence. “For us, now, we have an entire armed staff, and I think that’s pretty good,” he told the Appleton Post-Crescent. “We thought it would be good for everybody’s safety to have a handgun in the home. And then also, it’s kind of fun. So we have company outings planned for going to the shooting range and that kind of thing.”
What do you think about this story? Would you accept a handgun from your boss as a Christmas gift? Do guns in the workplace make it more or less safe? Where do you draw the line? Let us know in the comments down below!