UP IN ARMS: Chevy Volt owners and even General Motors have fired back at Newt Gingrich's suggestion the American automaker's hybrid car can't hold a gun rack. (Photo: NRMA/Flickr)
Newt Gingrich may need a new laugh line in his stump speech. The Republican presidential candidate has been amusing audiences lately by mocking General Motors' gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt, suggesting it can't accommodate well-armed motorists.
"You can't put a gun rack in a Volt," Gingrich told a crowd in Georgia last weekend. "We believe in the right to bear arms, and we like to bear the arms in our trucks." The line drew a laugh, prompting Gingrich to repeat it at other campaign events this week.
But, perhaps unfortunately for Gingrich, it turns out you can put a gun rack in a Volt.
One of the first people to debunk Gingrich's claim was John McDole, an Atlanta resident and Volt owner. In a video uploaded to YouTube Monday, McDole shows off a custom gun rack he installed in the back of his Volt, using PVC pipes, hooks and rope to hold a Remington Model 11 shotgun and two rifles. See the video below:
McDole, a registered Republican in Gingrich's adopted home state, tells the Huffington Post he took the former House speaker's Volt criticism as a challenge. "Most people are saying it's Obama's car, but it came up when Bush was president," McDole says. "People keep razzing me about this car ... when I heard about Newt Gingrich saying, 'You can't put a gun rack in the back of a Volt' ... I said, 'challenge accepted.'"
And McDole wasn't alone. PolitiFact Georgia went a bit further, installing three kinds of gun racks in a borrowed Volt. Two of the racks reportedly fit behind the seats, while the third was actually too short. PolitiFact also points out that some roof- and window-mounted gun racks would probably work. The group offers this final verdict: "Gingrich said you can't put a gun rack in a Chevrolet Volt. We installed two gun racks that tote four guns combined. Our own research shows Gingrich's claim is a lemon."
Even General Motors weighed in. "Actually, you can" install a gun rack in a Volt, GM communications chief Selim Bingol writes on the company's BTW blog. "But the real question is 'Why would you?'" Drivers who care primarily about gun-stashing space will likely buy trucks anyway, Bingol adds, arguing the Volt's fuel efficiency is irrelevant to the issue. "Seriously, when is the last time you saw a gun rack in ANY sedan?"
Thanks to Gingrich, we may start to see more of them — especially in Volts.
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