The Chicago-based deal and coupon websiteGroupon.com has halted all gun-related deals, it announced on Sunday. Groupon discounts for shooting activities can involve anything from clay shooting to time and training at a gun range. These deals, both current and those scheduled for the future, have been placed on hiatus.
In a statement from Groupon spokesperson Julie Mossler, she indicated the reason for this action was both because the company was reviewing “internal standards” for inventory, and in response to recent consumer feedback . According to the LA Times, merchants have criticized the website for their sudden announcement, leaving them little time to prepare. Others voiced discontent over what they think is Groupon bowing to media pressure in the current national gun control debate.
One Texas gun shop owner is calling for a boycott of the site after they removed his coupon for a concealed weapon training course. Daily Finance reports that Michael Cargill, proprietor of Central Texas Gun Works, started a deal on Tuesday with Groupon to promote his training course. The demand for his course was so high that the partnership was extended, until a Groupon representative called him and informed him of the company’s action. His coupons were shelved until further notice, a move that frustrated both Cargill and his customers.
In a statement to the Daily Finance Cargill said, “I’m asking everyone in the Second Amendment community to boycott Groupon, because the message they’re sending is, ‘Look, we do not want to support law-abiding citizens taking time out of their schedule to learn the safety surrounding firearms.’”
For his part, Cargill is willing to honor any Groupons purchased as well as offering classes at a marked down rate.