Groupon Is Going To Offer Gun Deals Again

    July 1, 2013
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut last winter, Groupon decided to put a stop, at least temporarily, to offering any deals related to guns. This, which took place in the middle of a very heated national debate on gun control, sparked a great deal of controversy, with gun rights advocates calling for a boycott on the company.

Now, about half a year later, Groupon is letting some gun-related deals go forward again. This will no doubt reignite the controversy surrounding the subject.

Do you think people should be able to purchase gun-related Groupons? Let us know in the comments.

As you know, Adam Lanza fatally shot twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary (as well as his mother, separately) in the infamous mass murder that took place in Newtown on December 14th. Though the gun control debate has raged for years, there had been no other time in recent memory in which those on both sides had been so vocal as in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Groupon’s move to ban gun-related deals came in January, as arguments had steadily elevated since the massacre. Michael Cargill, a gun rights activist, concealed handgun instructor, and owner of Central Texas Gun Works, called for a nationwide boycott of Groupon, saying his contract with the company was “abruptly terminated,” after Groupon’s then-CEO Andrew Mason “decided the company would no longer associate with any business related to firearms.”

As the controversy erupted, Groupon said it was reviewing its policies regarding gun-related offers. Groupon’s PR sent us the following statement at the time:

“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.”

It’s hard to say if it was really consumer and merchant feedback alone, or if the media had a role in Groupon’s decision, but either way, the statement contained no finality on the subject, and now, some gun deals are making their way back into Groupon’s offerings. The change of heart has gone largely unnoticed in the media, which is probably how Groupon would like to keep it, but Red Alert Politics followed up on the topic last week, and spoke with Groupon’s PR department:

After an expired coupon for a Colorado Shooting Range was included in today’s Groupon email blast for Denver, Red Alert Politics followed up with the company and discovered the change in policy. Today’s coupon was a mistake, but Denver residents might soon see real gun-related deals in their Groupon emails.

“We have decided to reopen certain firearm-related deals in specific markets where they’ve been frequently requested by both merchants and customers,” Nicholas Halliwell, a public relations officer for Groupon wrote in an email to Red Alert.

According to the report, Halliwell said the reintroduction of gun-related deals (which includes firing ranges and skeet shooting) was a “pretty recent decision”.

When we asked Halliwell for further comment, we got a similar statement:

After a carefully considered review, we have decided to reopen certain firearm-related deals in specific markets where they’ve been frequently requested by both merchants and customers. These deals are limited to skeet shooting and firing ranges.

Halliwell tells us that Groupon has already run “a small handful [of] skeet shooting and firing range deals in states such as North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas.”

The decision to run them, he says, was made on a case-by-case basis. Again, he notes, this was taking into account feedback from merchants and consumers.

It’s unclear what exactly led to Groupon’s decision to start allowing gun-related deals again, and how much requesting needs to happen from merchants and customers to have these deals appear in specific areas.

It’s worth noting that Groupon has undergone a major leadership change since the ban was initially implemented, as CEO Andrew Mason was let go. Mason, by the way, has a new motivational business song album.

Do you think Groupon’s decision to allow gun-related deals again is a good one? For those who opposed the ban to begin with, is it too late? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Update: A previous version of this article indicated that Halliwell was quoted by Red Alert as saying the move was “a pretty good decision.” Halliwell says he never editorialized and commented on what he felt about the decision, and that the word “good” was really “recent”.

  • Peter

    How do they sleep at night

    • john

      Great! with my XDS six feet away

  • Raymond

    No, I will not use Groupon for anything as long as they sell guns.

    • Shelby

      You are in the minority. I will no longer use their service because of their anti gun agenda.

  • http://voidjudgements.net Jeff S.

    Groupon should have allowed the current coupons to run their cycle and not taken any new or additional orders while they review their policy.

    What Groupon did is not honorable.

  • http://www.niallflynn.com Niall Flynn

    What is the issue here, guns are bought and sold globally just like any product. Guns are used for sport, hunting, self defense and a range of other non martial purposes. I shoot rifles for sport at a range at little paper targets, what’s the harm.

    It’s not as if this is an arm your militia with hollow points ad, these are for local gun shops (Sporting), gun safes and accessories (Safety)and rifle ranges (Again Harmless Sporting).

    Seriously people google and the NSA are killing online freedom and you are worried about Groupon deals for a rifle range, prioritize much?

  • G

    The rite to bear arms was established in a time when muskets were used and there was no consistent organized force in place to protect the populous. Automatic, semi automatic, anti personal weapons, multi and large ammunition clips were not even dreamed of. Wake up gun owners and vendors having a gun in your home vastly increases the likelihood of someone you love being shot with it. NO GUNS OF ANY KIND should be sold on Groupon

    • http://www.militarytechnews.com Ian

      This is a shallow and short sighted viewpoint. The “time period” in which the constitution was written has nothing do to with anything. The liberty and civil rights granted to the people of this country are timeless. The constitution was based off the struggle for freedom under monarch and imperial governance. Freedom from 3,000 years of servitude and serfdom. It changed the world. You write as if it was a “whim of the pen” on a druken night. You are incredibly uneducated and ignorant.

    • Rd

      I guess your First Ammendment rights shouldn’t apply on the World Wide Web because it didn’t exist then. Stupid liberal. Read the 2nd Ammendment where it says the People and it shall not be infringed!

    • Chevy

      “…. there was no consistent organized force in place to protect the populous.” Are you implying that there is such a force now? Try calling a policeman during a mugging, a carjacking, or a forced home invasion. Then take note of how “protected” you feel during the 10 to 20 minutes it takes for police to arrive on scene.

    • Nate

      Interesting subject, considering that we just celebrated the 4th of July I think many of the anti-gun idiots need to read up on their history. The founding fathers clearly included the right to bear arms in our Constitution because the revolution would have never been possible without that right. It was not for hunting, it was to maintain freedom and possibly to keep our government in line. Cars and alcohol kill far more people than guns and I never hear anyone wanting to ban either. Any marketer that makes decisions to ban advertisers over a national event that splits the people 50/50 is making an ill advised decision. The Senate found this out as they tried to use this tragedy only to find out their constituents weren’t quite as enthusiastic about gun control as the media is.

    • Jake

      How about you wake up?

      Half the stuff you mentioned isn’t even legal for civilians to own, so how about you cut it out with the fear mongering and scare tactics?

  • http://www.militarytechnews.com Ian

    Well they fired Mason due to his lefist agenda driven management of the company. That shows the act may not of been the company wide sentiment, but that of a wing nut CEO trying to set policy on his own. It’s good Groupon fired him. However the demage they caused themselves may be irreversible. Groupon isn’t the only place to find deals. They continue to make a mistake with this new “drip drip” policy of allowing selected markets offer deals. If you made a mistake, own up to it. Do a press release. Tell the nation you stand with civil rights, liberty and the constitution of a free people. Instead they act like cowards trying to sneak in this state and that. So did they learn anything from the mistakes Mason made? The way they’re acting you really cannot tell. It simply comes off as “hi, im a coward but i’d really like your money still”. Bad policy.

  • Shelby

    Groupons attempt to force their agenda on others should not go unanswered. Continue to boycott.

  • http://www.coppergaslanternsplus.com Ginger

    People participate in perfectly legal activities involving firearms. Hunting, Skeet shooting and target shooting to name a few. Actually it is good for people to visit a shooting range if they own firearms. Perhaps Groupon could limit their coupons to those products & services and not the actual sale of weapons and ammunition. Hunters use a lot of items that are not weapons and ammunition. BTW, I am a gun owner and a liberal – it is possible to be both. I advocate for responsible gun ownership and reasonable limitations on the products that are available.

  • ted

    When your career is in the toilet you’ll do anything to save it. Nice move guys.

  • Ken

    It would appear that GroupOn is trying to have it both ways. They capitalized on the hysteria over guns after Sandy Hook and now that hysteria has faded a little, they are going to allow gun sales again. I would prefer to patronize companies with principles with which I agree. In my opinion, the second amendment is imperative to maintaining any sense of liberty in our nation. I will stand with those who support that principle.

  • Rose

    i find it interesting that those in favor of guns use the rational of hunting, sport etc. So why is it so difficult to get enough votes to stop the sale assault weapons. Maybe shooting people has become a sport.

    • Jonny

      It all has do to with the law creep. You ban assault weapons, the next this is going to be hand guns, then long guns until there is nothing left. If course, this will only apply to lawful ownership as criminals will have their own supply.

      • R

        Can you name any country where such a ‘law creep’ has occurred in regards to gun control?

        • Rick


        • Rick


        • BB

          Yes, Nazi Germany pre-WWII, China, Cambodia under Pol Pot,USSR, Mexico.

          How about if you don’t like free men owning guns, move to one of those nations, they don’t have a 2nd Amendment to worry about. We don’t want idiots like you here.

        • Jake

          Yes, every country in Europe.

  • james

    This is a bit of a damned if they do, damned if they don’t scenario. If groupon kept running gun related ads they’d have been hammered with bad press. if they stopped them they’d be boycotted by gun advocates. It was a horrible position, and I can see why they’d try and have it both ways a bit.

  • steve lowen

    The same ‘gun enthusiasts’ who rail at anyone that may challenge their right to weapons of war
    clearly have their favorite fallback, e.g. Walmart. Those hillbilly wankers in Arkansas will profit from, and
    take advantage of anyone, and anything.

  • http://www.allsafedefense.com TJ Johnston

    As a firearms trainer, I believe that everyone who owns a gun should get the proper training in the safe and lawful use of their gun. I would appreciate the opportunity to discount my training fees by offering my services through Groupon. Why not make training MORE available to stop the accidental and misuse of firearms. Then we will only need to worry about the CRIMINAL misuse of firearms. — TJ Johnston

  • michela

    If Groupon will allow again gun dealing, I will boycott it and I will tell anyone I know to do the same.

    • mikael

      for a swede this is surreal. guns is for criminals

      • Jonny

        So you think it is better to let the criminals have a monopoly on gun ownership?

    • Red Rover

      You are just a stupid liberal toadie. I’m in the market for a Bushmaster, and I hope the put coupons out soon.

  • http://www.ealtbay.com Frank Simmons

    Guns and gun related are legal products, and as such Groupon should be allowed so include them in their offers. There will always be abuses of legal products, about 15 years ago I witnessed a woman run over her cheating spouse with a car, an intentional killing with a legal item. Should we ban cars? They kill more people each year than guns!

  • http://N/A kouka96792

    “Background Checks ‘SHOULD BE’ Required for ALL gun purchases!”
    I don’t believe that anyone, with or without sanity and criminal intent, should have the ability to walk into ANY establishment and purchase a firearm without “ANY” other people knowing about it!

  • Jack

    The operative word is Lanza killed. Are we going to stop selling cars because 1000’s die every year.

  • Gregg

    WOW! Some of these comments are way out there! You wont shop at businesses where guns are sold… Really??? Do you realize how many places sell guns and you simply do not know or realize it? And boycotting because theyhave began selling groupons for firing ranges and skeet shooting places? I am not one that is 100 percent for gun sales but realize that we have that right. Automatic and large capacity guns should be outlawed. Have you heard the idiots on the news months ago with a straight face saying how they “hunt” with their 100 capacity automatic gun that looks like he should be in Iraq! Really??? That deer would be abliderated and you would not be able to eat it. Come on… Lets be real for just a second! No one is hunting with those guns… At least not for food! We do need to rework our gun laws and take into account every child who has died from gun shots… Even if cars kill more people annually. Another “really???”… Someone actually commented and compared children being killed by automatic large capacity guns to car accidents!!! That is insane and why we need more gun control.

    • Gregg

      I also agree that gun and safety training should be offered by groupon and many other companies. That should have been the first offering brought back by groupon. Lets learn how to use the guns safely and how to store them properly along with the ammo. Leaving a gun loaded and unattended and not locked up should be (if not already) against the law. Just think if it was your child or loved one who was accidently or purposely shot because the gun owner was not responsible.

  • Mark

    Straying away from the question at hand here but if the media would quit glorifying these idiots and their cowardly acts, e.g., school shootings, bombings, etc. we may not be having this conversation. If and when these tragedies occur the media should only be allowed to report on the victims, their families, recovery, etc. and never once speak or publicize the perpetrator (cowards). Easier said than done but would certainly reduce the “copycat” effect.

  • Mike Gunner

    Guns should not be on sale to the public. No constitution should be unchangeable. The incidence of killings in the US by people who have guns is intolerable. It is a complete anachronism to say that citizens should have the right to bear arms when that law was written more than 200 years ago so that Americans could defend themselves against the British. I am British and I am not threatening anyone in the US, or anywhere actually. I would be afraid of getting into any argument if I thought the other person had a gun. Perhaps a woman whose thigh I might brush against might pull out a pistol strapped against the very same thigh – this is spine-chilling, and pathetic, it’s as if amorous adventures always mean rape, or that the normal way for a woman to say “no” is to pull out a gun. I have always loved America but this aspect is a terrible aberration.

    • Rick

      So sad! The 2nd Amendment was not specifically written for the British. It was written for a concept that the then current British government exemplified; government oppression.

      Britain does not hold a monopoly on government oppression. Look at China and other oppressive governments that do not allow their citizens to defend themselves from the government: think Tiananmen Square in 1989, or the Armenian Genocide in 1915 – 1918, or the Mayan Genocide in Guatemala in 1981 – 1983, or the Al-Qubeir massacre in Syria in 2012. The list is almost endless of governments that will commit atrocities against their own citizenry in the name of whatever they are pushing at the time.

      “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

    • john

      Really? Okay, who let Pierce Morgan on here?
      Dear Pierce, my good man I have a question for you?

      It is 2AM, you wake up from your wife shaking you and saying “I just heard glass break and some noise!”
      I hear him, he is coming up the stairs!
      What do you want in your hand at this moment? A phone with an assistant telling you “the cops are on their way!”
      Or a gun, and you being educated on how to handle, clean, respect and shoot a gun from the class you took threw Groupons?

  • http://www.melbournecelebrant.info Mal

    I will not use Groupon for anything as long as they sell guns.
    Mal Abrahamsen

  • http://www.melbournecelebrant.info Mal

    No, I will probably not use Groupon for anything as long as they sell guns.

  • John

    So when did offering a further education class threw Groupon become such a problem?
    Question are you a gun expert? If not, how can you make an educated comment related to the field? From what you have heard from the drive by media? Or is it “The new sheriff in town” Joe Biden’s expertise your listening to?
    Your no dummy! You went to school, you took training classes, expanded your knowledge on the proper workings of a computer or whatever field you are in. Because you more than likely enjoy what you do, and wanted to know your job better.

    So now back to the Gun education or further knowledge classes related to guns. What’s the issue?
    Fact, guns are and will be in our society, like it or not!
    Question – Would you rather a person NOT expand their education on the proper handling, care and respect of a weapon or do you just want them to go out and start shooting, as it is their legal right to do?

    Fact- Gun related crimes are down 22% for the last 10 years! And our population has risen!

    Fact- Gun ownership has increased dramatically in the last five years and astronomically in the last year.

    Gun Murders and crimes that are committed with a register gun by its owner, whether be a pistol or rifle is almost non excitant.
    So who is committing the crimes? Where are we focusing our attention and efforts? Not on the criminal with guns! (We are just now recognizing a nut with a gun is just that, a nut!) Or for the politically correct crowd, “challenged”

    Who ends up being targeted, by the un-knowledgeable, un-informed, armchair populous “The news media is all I know and they are the experts” Lets target the Legal, and responsible gun owners!
    It is almost laughable to see what our Government enlisted, walking dead come up with to ban. Gun owners look at the list and say, what the heck are they talking about? That is just it! They don’t know what they are talking about!
    We have become a society of, if it happened it is someone’s fault, and everyone is going to pay for it to protect a few. Let’s face it, if we had Citizens that had somewhat of a grain of common sense they would see the problem with gun deaths and realize, it is not the gun, it is the nut behind the trigger.

    Now, I have one question to ask you? And lets be honest! And I don’t care if you are a gun owner or not!

    It is 2AM, you wake up from your wife shaking you and saying “I just heard glass break and some noise!”
    I hear him, he is coming up the stairs!
    What do you want in your hand at this moment? A phone with an assistant telling you “the cops are on their way!”
    Or a gun, and you being educated on how to handle, clean, respect and shoot a gun from the class you took threw Groupons?
    I rest my case your honor.

  • Pro Freedom

    “Those who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    ― Benjamin Franklin

    The real issue when it comes to these tragic mass killings is mental health. Passing more gun control laws will not stop gun related crime. Laws in themselves do not prevent crime but merely provide a guideline for what should be done after the fact. Many of the laws being passed (e.g. NY SAFE Act) now make criminals out of law abiding citizens.

    So I say hooray for free commerce and freedom and good for Groupon. Guns are not the root of the problem – sick people are.

  • https://www.searchen.com john colascione

    I think groupon should continue to offer deals and coupons on sales in any states where those sales are legal.

  • Elisabeth Riedl

    No guns can be sold online as there should be a passport and signature required.
    There must be measures taken to prohibit guns being easily acquired.

  • http://facebook.com/LVfun Nick

    The last 3 shooting masacres have been proven over and over that they were fabricated to confuse Americans into thinking that they would need gun control.
    It is our Constitutional Right to own Firearms and should be re-instaed into Groupon. Any oppositions should be met with email containing liinks to YouTube Videos and such to educate the truth to the public that all was False ande miss representation

  • Rob

    This is the U.S.A. its in our Bill of Rights. Of course you should allow firearms deals on groupon. We are not supposed to punish many for the wants or crimes of others. This is a Republic not a Democracy. Let Free men be Free.

  • David

    Why are you bringing this topic to us. This is a business-oriented site, and quite frankly, this topic is not only not related, it is in poor taste. YOU do not preach your values to me, and I will not preach mine to you. OK? I’ve dropped business associations for less.

    Please get back to the business of search engine ranking.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

      You don’t think this is a business-related topic? Also, I don’t think I was preaching so much as reporting facts.

    • M. Long

      Goodness David, relax. Nobody mention religion, you’ll never hear the end of that one.

  • Pizzaman7

    If I get into a car accident because I was irresponsible and drinking should the government take everyone else’s car ? The argument is ludicrous. Groupon should not punish law-abiding responsible gun owners. There are many examples out there of people with concealed carry that stopped crimes. I carry and I have no inkling to whip out my gun and shoot anyone. Writing more laws to stop people who don’t obey the law in the first place is sheer lunacy.

    There is a lot of mis-information out there. Everytime I guy a gun, whether it be from a web site or what have you, I have to file a Federal and State registration form and if I was mentally ill or a felon I would be denied.

    The mass leftist media has a template for these mass shootings and they stir hysteria. The truth is our founding fathers were smart and free citizens need rights like the 2nd Amendment to be really free.

  • patsy Radenz

    I cancelled. my Groupon membership when Groupon dropped all firearms
    sporting event offers—especially skeet shooting. WOULD LOVE. to be a Groupon member. again.

  • Teenoptorie

    Jane hancock papers

  • M. Long

    They caved with all the gun hype, so I cancelled my account. Even if they bring them back I won’t sign up again. I don’t support spineless wimps.