Ben Wolfgram, the co-owner of BenShot, a company which produces glassware embedded with bullets, said he decided to gift his employees handguns to promote personal safety, the Post Crescent reported Tuesday.
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According to Wolfgram, his company has 16 full-time employees, including both military veterans and people who have never fired a gun previously. The father-and-son team at BenShot presented each one of their employees with a gift card, which they used to purchase a weapon of their choice.
"That way the background check was done by the store," Ben Wolfgram explained to WISN 12 NEWS Tuesday. "We are a small, close-knit team at BenShot. I want to make sure all of [our] employees are safe and happy — a handgun was the perfect gift." The gift cards cost the company around $8,000.
Many of Wolfgram's employees, including Chelsea Priest, were "excited" to receive their guns, Wolfgram told WISN 12 NEWS.
"I've never been a part of anything like this," Priest said.
"For him to stand for something and for the company to stand for keeping us safe is really awesome, for them to do that," she added in a video interview.
In addition, Wolfgram noted that he's not worried about workplace violence because his business consists of a small number of employees who know each other intimately.
"For us, now, we have an entire armed staff," he said. "I think that's pretty good."
"We decided to gift a handgun because we wanted to make sure our employees were safe. Safety was the primary reason. We also thought that the gun would also be a fun and memorable gift for the team," Wolfgram told Sputnik in a statement Wednesday.
"The employees were excited. When they shared the news with their spouses, we had a few spouses that didn't believe it. There were two employees that didn't want a gun; they were given VISA gift cards instead. We are a close team at BenShot. We trust everyone we work with at BenShot; we're a close community. It's all about trust," he added.
Two months ago, a gunman opened fire at a software company in Middleton, Wisconsin, wounding four of his coworkers. The attacker was shot and killed by police.
"If you're going to ask me about the motive, I don't know, and I don't know anything about the background of the suspect," Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke said at the time, the Post Crescent reported.
"He was an employee, so it wasn't unusual for him to be there. He had a reason to be there, but anything else I don't know," he added.