Groupon Bans All Firearms-Related Activities

After Austin CHL instructor Michael Cargill told Fox 7 that Groupon had pulled their electronic coupons from his business, FOX 7 contacted the web-base dealmaker. Groupon sent them the following statement: “All scheduled and current gun-related deals featured on Groupon North America, including shooting ranges, conceal-and-carry and clay shooting, have been placed on hiatus while we review internal standards that shape the deal inventory we feature. The category is under review following recent consumer and merchant feedback.” Cargill is calling for a national boycott. Is it me or is it getting really chilly around here?

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

52 Responses to Groupon Bans All Firearms-Related Activities

  1. avatarMatt in FL says:

    Interesting. I have two friends (a couple), who recently took their carry course. They found out about it and purchased it through Groupon. It was a good deal, and a good class. Too bad idiots ruin everything.

  2. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Ignore Groupon. This is a desperate publicity stunt from a company with a failing business model.

  3. avatarRepubAnon says:

    Probably a publicity stunt… Groupon is failing, and wanted some free press. With all the panic buying going on, why would anyone want to offer discount coupons for firearms-related items?

  4. avatarThomas Paine says:

    well, judging from all the dudes who were soooo mad at Dicks sporting goods, and then boycotted them for about three days until they forgot about it and shopped there anyway……..

    • avatarracer88 says:

      Is that mere speculation on your part (about the “boycotters” going back)?

      I haven’t gone back, and I won’t… ever.

      • avatarMichael says:

        I haven’t gone to back to dick’s either even though I want to. Too bad that business is dead to me now.

        • avatarDucky says:

          I haven’t been to Dick’s since their announcement that they wouldn’t sell scary black rifles, even if they were coated in camo…

        • avatarDavid W. says:

          I got a big discount for the next thing I buy at Dicks and I still plan on not going back until they publicly apologize and beg for forgiveness.

        • avatarMike S says:

          Me either. F*** em.

        • avatarAM says:

          I to have not been in a Dick’s since.

          And I plan to keep that up.

        • avatarMark N. says:

          I’ve never even seen a Dick’s, but I saw a sign that suggests they plan on building one in my town soon. Which is kind of bizarre to me since we already have two big box sports stores and a number of small local businesses too.

    • avatarBill F says:

      I rarely went to Dick’s before and never will now. Their firearms dept. in my town has always been a joke. No handguns, a few dozen rifles/shotguns, almost no ammo. Several aisles of airsoft though.

  5. avatarracer88 says:

    When Groupon first came to my town, I inquired about doing a campaign for my own business. They turned me down, claiming I didn’t have enough online reviews. I wasn’t good enough for them. OK, fine.

    Then, more recently, they came BACK to me begging for my business. It felt pretty good to remind them of how they treated me before, that their business model is a colossal failure, and that THEY were NOW not good enough for ME. **** off and don’t ever call me again. :D

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      Good call. Groupon is rarely a net positive for any business older than 6 months. New businesses may break even since they don’t have a customer base for Groupon to cannibalize.

  6. avatarAdam says:

    Well, I got my Oregon and Utah permit through a $50 for both deal by groupon and it was extremely popular. FVK ‘EM…they’ve been irrelevant for quite some time. I remember they turned down a buyout from Google for some untold billion dollar deal. They have a habit of making horrific business decisions……

  7. avatarLance says:

    To counter this gun sellers can cut prices!!

  8. avatarIvy Mike says:

    I told my wife that a “groupon” was the same thing as a ménage à trois, and everybody is getting together and getting it on…

    And that was when the fight started.

    Seriously, I’ve never used groupon. I’m as weary of complicated marketing gimmicks as Bill Hicks himself. Just make something high quality, like from the 1950, and I’ll pay a fair price. Or I’m just gonna buy vintage stuff off eBay.

  9. avatarIn Memphis says:

    “The category is under review following recent consumer and merchant feedback.”

    Im pretty sure the market is screaming, BUY BUY BUY!!

    • avatarDerek says:

      Yea, for now. As soon as the panic dies there’re going to be a whole lotta people who suddenly decide they don’t need that $1500 toy they bought out of fear and the market’s going to be flooded with “NIB” ARs and AKs and Pmags are going to be $5 a piece.

  10. avatarAvid Reader says:

    I can’t boycott Groupon as I never found anything about it that interested me in the first place. So I’ll continue to not use them. Small business owners that I deal with who have tried them generally use them once and don’t come back. The customers that come in are chasing the deal, and if they don’t get that discount next time they don’t come back.

    I was neutral on them before, but this is enough to tip the balance against them.

  11. avatarstan the man says:

    I have boycotted Dicks since they pulled the black rifles and I will boycott every other business who messes with American freedoms and our Constitution!

    Just emailed Groupon and let them know because of their anti American stance I will never do business with them and will actively spread the word for others to do the same!

    When will businesses learn? We gun owners are a passionate bunch!

    • avatarSelousX says:

      I sent them an email today unsubscribing from their mailing list and notified them as to why.
      I hope they see the light and realize it’s better with 2A than without.

      :-)

    • avatarWill says:

      Easy for me to boycott Dicks…. too expensive on their merchandise… and their store isn’t all that old here in town… That leaves the pawn shops, a few local sporting goods/gun shops. Gellco, and Acadamy, in addition to Wally-move-your-production-to-china-and-we-both-make-out-like-bandits-world.

      I still have to go out of town for Cabellas… and out of State for Sportsman’s Warehouse.

  12. avatartjlarson2k says:

    The silver lining of this whole mess is now we know who all the Constitutionally-ignorant businesses and politicians are. Will make voting so much easier.

  13. avatarPascal says:

    I find it amazing there are no gun owners who are also in IT who have the knowledge and resources such that we don’t need these liberal asshat dotcom types.

    • avatarSelousX says:

      Hey, sapient! I’m in IT!
      However, it is true I don’t have millions of dollars to draw upon as a resource.

    • avatarAlphaGeek says:

      A pretty fair number of those liberal asshats in the Internet services business are shooters. In some parts of tech companies (the Operations teams, for example) upwards of 50% may be shooters.

      If a tech company does something like what Groupon pulled, you can tell it’s run by MBA/marketing droids. Fortunately there are plenty of companies in every category which have avoided that fate, and make decisions based on what benefits their customers long term rather than what tracks the winds of politics.

      It’s not a liberal/conservative thing. It’s a jackhole-company/customer-focused-company thing.

  14. avatarRalph says:

    I would boycott Groupon, but I have no idea what the f^ck it is. And I intend to keep it that way.

  15. avatarScruff says:

    Even if you don’t have a Groupon account, you can contact their customers, the local businesses, and tell them that you’ll never deal with Groupon because Groupon has decided to politicize their business, and you’re going to encourage others to do the same until Groupon stops the hostility towards the 2nd Amendment.

  16. avatarmisterturbo says:

    Since when did businesses suddenly get consciences?

    • avatarBill F says:

      They haven’t. Being anti-gun is the current fad-driven business model. It’s got nothing to do with conscience.
      I must be really out of touch–haven’t a clue what Groupon is.

  17. avatarJZinNM says:

    I’ve used Groupon in the past, but not so much lately. Anyway, I unsubscribed from all email lists and sent them a note to cancel my account because of their recent position on gun rights. Suggest others do likewise.

  18. just want to the the one letting you know that i’ll never step foot in your doors. if you are going to be supporting YOUR president (no, i wont claim him as mine) and all this gun control crap then you’ll never have my support. and buy the way, if your to stupid to know this already, i’t about CONTROL! not protection. they dont care how many die as long as they get what they want! also, the DICTATOR in charge was whinning about his kids being used in a commercial but it was fine for him to use the children that died to help push his gun control! like i said, it’s all about control! it’s much easier to control people when they are not armed!

    • avatarWill says:

      While it was probably, and more than likely, a cheap shot (and shouldn’t have been done, because the kids didn’t really have a say. The message was on, the delivery, well…)… I do fully agree that the one who cried foul first is just as guilty… although the kids in question were probably put up to it… of taking advantage of kids for political reasons.

  19. avatarRhinotx says:

    Me and my wife just took a course with Mike @ Central Texas Gunworks that we bought off groupon. I was glad my wife bought it and the place was awesome but i’m going to add groupon to the banned list.

    • avatarScruff says:

      Just cancelling your Groupon account will do very little. Calling and emailing your local businesses who use Groupon would be MUCH more effective. The Left did it with Rush Limbaugh’s advertisers in the Sandra Fluke affair, why shouldn’t we?

  20. avatarMazikeen says:

    https://www.groupon.com/support

    I use Groupon nearly weekly, I have emailed the above support address that I no longer will support their company. I will not sell out my pride for 50% off coupons, anymore than surrender my 2A rights to an oppresive governmnent. Regardless of those comments above that do not associate with Groupon, every time a person, official, or government organization does something ignorant such as this we should ALL take the opportunity to tell them how we feel. DO NOT continue to be the silent majority, send an email, snail mail, place a call, withdraw your financial support, whatever, BUT MAKE SURE they know WHY!

    • avatarWill says:

      I sent them the following:

      The issue I have is you making political with who you do business with. I refuse to support any company that supports a stance similar to, or is one of, violating Constitutional rights… in particular, the 2nd Amendment. You will NOT see me purchasing anything through your service, and I shall inform any business I deal with that if they continue to do business with you, I shall not patronize their business as well. While it is your right to decide to not do business with those who sell, or train people to use, guns and their accessories, it is also my right to not use your services.

      • avatarWill says:

        Update. Here’s the response I got back from Groupon.

        Hi Will,

        Thank you for reaching out to us. We appreciate your feedback and take these inquiries seriously.

        Gun-related deals, including shooting ranges, conceal-and-carry, and clay shooting, are on hiatus as we review our internal policies for the types of deals that we feature. Groupon has always aimed to offer deals driven by local consumer preference and request; at this time, enough consumers have asked us to eliminate the category that we believe a review is warranted. A decision has not yet been made.

        Thank you again for contacting us and please let me know if I can do anything else to help.

        Regards,

        Adriana A.
        Groupon Customer Support

  21. avatarWilliam says:

    Groupon: COPYCATS

  22. avatarAaron says:

    Who is Groupon?

  23. avatarPencotron says:

    I have two groupons for a local gun range that I have not used yet. It’s a great deal for my gf to help her figure out what gun to purchase – 2 9mm rentals and 50 rounds. I just got a mail yesterday reminding me that they have not been used yet. Would this be for future promotions?

  24. avatarMary says:

    The best thing you can do is support small businesses and email Groupon to demand they change this policy. If you look in Austin alone in the past six months you will see 2 companies that have outsold everyone and they are Central Texas Gunworks and Texan Defender (I got an email saying they were Groupons top of the top in 2012) So why on Earth would they hurt their top businesses like that? Boycotting them doesn’t help the small business. Demanding that they change their mind does. For the sake of the business please email Groupon and complain and let them know you will be boycotting if nothing is done and you will make sure everyone you know does that same.

  25. avatarRick says:

    I use to shop at Dick’s Sporting Goods because they always had good deals on kids soccer cleats. I have since started shopping online for the cleats and have even went as far as not attending Colorado Rapids games because they play in Dick’s Sporting Goods Stadium. I cancelled my Groupon account today and told them why. I also found some old groupon emails and emailed the business to tell them I would never shop there as long as they used groupon. The anti-constitutionalists do it all the time, so we should as well.

  26. avatarSpeleoFool says:

    My letter to Groupon:

    In light of Groupon’s decision to suspend all firearms-related deals I’m hereby suspending my personal business with Groupon. Meanwhile, I will continue to support your competitor, LivingSocial, through whom I have purchased a deal for firearms safety training–something I’d hope that even those concerned about firearms (and the current controversy surrounding them) would find reasonable and sensible to support since education and safety training foster awareness and promote practices with the express purpose of reducing gun violence and harm caused by negligent handling or storage of firearms.

    Groupon’s odd decision to continue to offer deals for paintball and laser tag while suspending a deal for a shooting range near my home suggests to me that Groupon is happy to promote activities where people shoot one another, but against activities where gun safety is taught and practiced in highly controlled environments. Such a distinction suggests an irrational and irresponsible fear of bullets and a disdain for the respect that all guns, even those loaded only with paint or light, deserve.

    To be clear, I don’t oppose paintball or laser tag, nor do I think Groupon should stop promoting those activities. In fact, my position is exactly the opposite: don’t play favorites; it’s un-American. Offer any deals that are legal and marketable and let us decide whether or not to buy them, end of story.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      That’s actually a really, really good letter, and if I’d ever bothered to give a dime to Groupon before now, I’d use it. As it is, I never found anything I was excited about.

      • avatarSpeleoFool says:

        Thanks. I got a reply from them earlier today explaining that the hiatus on firearms-related deals was initiated in response to customer and vendor feedback and is, for now at least, a temporary measure. They said the decision is not final, and they are reviewing it, so I sent this this reply to help in their consideration (apologies for length):

        Thank you for your reply.

        Just as Groupon’s hiatus is temporary, so too is my decision to abstain from new Groupon purchases. It’s not my intention to storm away in anger. I genuinely hope Groupon will resume firearms-related deals and refrain from future moratoriums on various types of offers based on expressions of disapproval or a fear of controversy. I still have a number of vouchers I have not yet redeemed, and last year a Groupon Getaway deal enabled me to throw together a last-second trip-of-a-lifetime to Playa del Carmen. I appreciate Groupon and sincerely hope I can continue to do business with you.

        I think I understand the rationale for the hiatus. I have worked for a large corporation for nearly 20 years, and my experience at this company has taught me how utterly critical it is to maintain a positive brand image with the public and to demonstrate corporate responsibility. I imagine that the decision to suspend firearms-related deals likely originated from a desire to sympathize with the shock and horror we have all felt at recent events. I get that, but I think that suspending *all* firearms-related promotions went too far. It strikes me as a paranoid overreaction rather than any kind of thoughtful or measured response.

        Experience with my employer has also taught me that it is impossible for any company, especially one of considerable size and visibility, to avoid controversy or to please everyone. My advise to Groupon, in consideration of its policies regarding this hiatus, is to consider generically the consequences of suspending *any* category of deals. In fact, my own personal stand has much less to do with my support for firearms than it does with my opposition to the notion that any vocal group can limit choices and freedoms for those who disagree with them.

        As a fitness and health enthusiast I could make a rational, emotional and fact-driven case that diabetes, obesity and heart disease are epidemic killers in our country and that promotions for bar food and desserts are harmful and perhaps even irresponsible. I personally do not purchase deals for foods or restaurants because of that belief. However, I also believe it is not my place to impose my beliefs on anyone else. I respect freedom, personal choice and individual responsibility above my desire to protect others from harm. Those are the principles I stand for, and by standing for the same Groupon will do a better job of demonstrating corporate responsibility to me than by eliminating whole categories of deals because some people don’t like them.

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