The dealerships here in Florida used to do that all the time. Usually around hunting season. You usually had a choice between a Winchester model 94 or a pump shotgun.
From a purely econmical point of view, a new gun is usually worth more than $250. For me, that would be 2 tanks of gas with about $10 left over. That would last me between 14 and 23 days. The gun is a material item. Granted, I own two hand guns, the choice for me is easy, but not because I am a gun owner.
I love the fact that this article makes people out to be "red-necks" based upon the choice between gas and guns and the inferential sterotypes of that part of the country. Too bad it is not portrayed as a sound financial position.