In the weeks since one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history at Sandy Hook Elementary, another company is facing pressure and rethinking its approach on guns.
Groupon is reevaluating its gun policies after removing all existing and upcoming deals on guns, shooting ranges and other gun-related offers. The popular online coupon site made the decision following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre where a gunman opened fire killing 20 children and six adults in December.
“Groupon has been testing firearm-related deals like shooting ranges and concealed weapons courses for the last eight months,” said Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler in a statement. “Based on performance and customer feedback, it’s clear they’re not a fit right now.”
Groupon told Chicago Tribune it has “canceled existing and planned discounts for shooting ranges, conceal-and-carry and clay shooting.”
That is exactly what happened to Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, who partnered with Groupon to offer a two-for-one concealed handgun licensed course discounted at $69. The regular course fee is $140. The deal was scheduled to run for a week starting on Jan. 15 but was cancelled after a Groupon representative broke the news to Cargill just days later.
“I was furious,” said Cargill. “My customers could not sign up for the deal. They called requesting that deal and then they were told by Groupon they could not purchase the deal because Groupon said they weren’t doing anymore gun deals at all.”
Cargill is now calling on his “Second Amendment family” for an all-out boycott of the popular online deals website. He shared the boycott announcement through social media and also distributed a statement to “members in the gun community.”
“I’m calling on every American who believes in the right of safe, lawful gun ownership to join me in refusing to hand over even one red cent to an organization who has no respect for recreational or personal protection who choose to exercise their constitutional right,” he said.
Groupon has not contacted Cargill following the boycott announcement. Cargill has not decided whether to seek legal action against Groupon.
Since its launch in 2008, Groupon has become a popular deal curator among tourists and big city natives alike for offers, bargain deals and according to its website, “the best stuff to eat, see, do and buy.” Groupon is available in 48 countries worldwide.