Should Groupon Stop Offering Gun-Related Deals?

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Groupon, no stranger to controversy, now finds itself in one related to a topic of national debate. The company has, until further notice, halted all gun-related deals.

Groupon says it is reviewing this category of deals. Do you think people should be able to purchase gun-related Groupons? Let us know in the comments.

If you live in the U.S., there’s no question that you’ve either heard people voicing their opinions about gun control, or contributed your own to some conversation. Since the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, the conversation that has been going on for ages has been escalated, also fueled by President Obama’s position on reducing gun violence.

Michael Cargill, a gun rights activist, concealed handgun instructor, and owner of Central Texas Gun Works, is calling for a nationwide boycott of Groupon, saying his contract with the company was “abruptly terminated” on Friday, after Groupon CEO Andrew Mason “decided the company would no longer associate with any business related to firearms,” according to shooting sports news site Ammoland.

Here’s a report from Austin’s (where Cargill is based) local FOX affiliate:

Here’s another from NBC affiliate kxan:

Groupon’s official stance, so far, is not quite as dramatic, saying that it is reviewing its policies regarding gun-related offers. AOL’s Daily Finance, who spoke with Cargill, also shared an emailed response from Groupon on the topic, which the company has since sent to WebProNews and a number of other media outlets.

“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.”

That’s the official statement, but is it just based on consumer and merchant feedback, or is the media itself playing a role in Groupon’s decision?

Cargill told FOX 7 that after Obama made a speech, his deal “went crazy,” and it looked like it was going to max out. Groupon, he says, called him to see if he could raise the ceiling of the number of people they would let in on the deal, so he did. He had over 1,000 buyers until Groupon shut it down two days later.

InfoWars also spoke with Cargill:

“Then they called me up on Friday morning and they said, ‘Well the CEO has decided to suspend all gun deals, anything having to do with guns, gun training, shooting clays, gun ranges; they suspended all gun deals,” Mr. Cargill told us.

When Cargill asked for an explanation, he says the representative told him, “Well, because of everything that’s going on in the media.”

“I said, ‘Well that’s not good enough because this is a concealed handgun license course, this is about gun safety, this is about conflict resolution, and this is about law-abiding citizens learning safety.’”

So, now Cargill is calling upon people to boycott Groupon, and is talking about exploring his legal options, so we may see at least one lawsuit against Groupon over this come to light soon. He says Groupon is not living up to is end of the contract, though it does reportedly say Groupon can terminate any deal at any time, but with written notice, which Cargill maintains he did not receive.

Here’s an example of one such deal that Groupon has run in the past:

It’s not uncommon for marketing services to not accept gun or weapon-related ads. Google’s AdWords, for example, prohibits the advertising of guns, gun parts or hardware, ammunition, bombs, knives, throwing stars, and brass knuckles. That’s in the U.S. Some countries have further restrictions. Google does allow for the promotion of: airsoft guns, stun guns and tasers, swords, air blog guns, non-working antique and replica guns, battery-operated flare guns and emergency flares, guns and ammunition books/magazines, holsters, paint guns, paintball guns, rifle/gun scopes, scope mounts, laser sights, kitchen knives and gun ranges.

Groupon’s policies are not as clear.

It’s entirely possible that gun-related deals will come back to Groupon. The company is reviewing its policies. That doesn’t mean they’re shutting them all down for good, though that’s a possibility too at this point. Groupon isn’t getting any more specific with its plans. If nothing else, perhaps Groupon will lay out a clear policy, more like Google’s, for what exactly is and is not allowed to be marketed using Groupon.

Should Groupon provide gun-related deals to consumers? Was Groupon right to pull deals like Cargill’s prematurely, despite having a contract with merchants? Tell us what you think about it.

Should Groupon Stop Offering Gun-Related Deals?
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  • Nathan

    They should continue offering gun deals. Guns aren’t bad, it takes a person to pull the trigger. If that kid ran through that school with a car would they try to ban cars as well? Guns are constitutionally protected for a reason.

  • Steve

    They should continue to offer deals to U.S. citizens who are legally allowed to purchase firearms. Lawful gun owners should not be discriminated against as it is a constitutional right to own and practice with firearms as well as hunt with them.

  • http://www.perfecthealthpartners.com Darrel Dunson

    group-on has every right – to make fatal mistakes! Just the same as everyone else. As for myself, my family, and my friends, we will no longer lend any financial support to group-on, of any kind. I recently changed banks because one of those I used didn’t appreciate my business enough to allow me to protect myself while at their place of business. I am careful to trade only with those who appreciate my point of view, gas stations, hardware stores, convenience stores, you get my meaning. My trade doesn’t amount to a lot, but add my family, friends, business associates, it grows to be a substantial sum. I call for a boycot of all businesses that do not respect the rights of gun owners and gun-toters. Join me and we can make a huge difference and do it quickly!

    • Melanie Turner

      Could you please list any business, so I can boycott them also?

  • http://www.mlmconsultant.com Rod Cook

    Boycott Groupon because it is submitting to the hype coming from the White House dealing with “gun control”. Groupon should be boycotted and forgotten by any Internet merchants because next they are coming to control your Internet. Groupon the first sellout of Americans

    The 2nd Amendment is clear about the right to bear arms and if you look at the Federalist Papers, the one of the main reasons for the right was to make a stand against a tyrannical government.

  • http://www.politicalchristian.org/wordpress Larry

    They should stop the gun offers if they wish to adopt a head in the sand attitude that ignores the real problems facing our county. They are in business to serve the public… if they decide they do not wish to deal with two thirds of the country, it will be to their detriment.

  • http://www.dgswilson.com Doug Wilson

    I’m not running groupon so my opinion is inconsequential. I would like to know where this national debate idea came from. As far as I know the US has never had a national debate on anything. Commercial TV is not genuine, it’s commercial, a business, scripted…

    I’ve never had a chance to vote on or debate any national issue. Have you?

  • Melanie Turner

    I am very disappointed in the action Groupon took in removing all gun related coupons. I feel this is nothing more than a political move on their part, that hinders my 2nd ammendment right. Shooting practice, and lessons are great to have along side our rights, for the good citizen to have a level of confidence in their ability to protect themselves. To take this away from the people who want to purchase them, is the same as saying they don’t have a right to them. To take it away from the companies who offer them, is again saying, they don’t have a right to offer them. This is in our Constitution and a right of the American people. By doing this is taking away the rights of the people of the United States of America.

  • http://Www.lecasedidorrye.com D. seijffert

    No guns or gun related products on Groupon!

  • Ron

    It appears groupon would prefer people who own guns not be trained in how to properly use them. Groupon cares more about image than peoples Safety. Another example of greed, ignorance and hypocracy.

  • RLH

    I find Americans’ attitude to gun ownership absolutely incomprehensible. There may be a necessity for some people to own guns depending on where they live, but they should be kept in a locked gun cabinet where only the licence holder has the key.

    People who want to buy guns should follow a procedure similar to that of obtaining a driving licence – get a provisional licence and when a certificate of practical and responsible competency is obtained, then go and buy a gun. A copy of the full record and photograph of the licence holder/purchaser should be submitted to the police and a copy retained at the store for verification. The police should then have the right to follow up with the purchaser if they have any cause for concern.

    Strange how most of the rest of the world manages to get by without the necessity for gun rampages or every citizen owning a firearm. Perhaps the people who are against guns aren’t the people who need the psychiatrists …..

    • Roger

      It appears you are unfamiliar with the gun buying process. In My State, When you buy a gun you have to present a Government Photo ID, Fill out a questionnaire which for lying on is a Felony offense, Then a background check is performed. If you pass those you can get a gun, if there is a issue, you are put on a waiting period and further checks are done. Then you can purchase or you will be denied the gun purchase. Responsible gun owners already have their guns in a gun safe or secured. If Groupon is pulling things like CCW class offerings, That really helps make would be gun owners more competent.
      Police response time is an Average of 23 minutes. The criminal will be long gone by the time the police arrive and the ambulance wont come to the home to try and save you until police arrive. Will the criminal wait for you to get your gun out to protect yourself?
      As far as the “rest of the world” goes, The governments are suppressive, Corrupt or non-existent. Look at what is happening in Mexico. Do you want the drug cartels to spill over even more than it already does?
      When I was growing up we were taught gun safety as kids by the Fish and wildlife Dept. Lets spend our money on education of guns instead of on incarceration of those just wanting guns and all the Tax dollars that will be required to enforce new legislation. There are enough laws in place now, they just need to be enforced. Criminals do obey the laws anyway.

      Groupon can do what it thinks the companies finance can stand.
      As gun owners we can choose not to support them.

      “Psychologists are just a bunch of crazy people trying to prove they are sane” Quote from a Former US Astronaut.

  • DfTg

    Very interesting. First of all, I think that banning guns is simply the same as taking a pill when you have headaches: It doesn’t cure the desease, it only makes the symptom disappear and it seems like you are doing better, where in fact you are not.

    The question is: What is the cause of these shooting incidents that really are on an increase in the US but also in other western countries in Europe, such as Germany?

    I think a lot of the budget should go to research that comes up with conclusions and forms a basis to “attack” this whole issue with guns.

    So, if Groupon REALLY wants to do something about this problem and is REALLY sincere about it, I would suggest they collect all revenue coming from guns and gun related sales and sending them to research institutes that are working on this subject! I mean: That would be a statement and that would make both the people that are pro and those who are against guns a lot happier!!

    • Roger

      Interesting Idea!

    • john willow

      You must have just dropped out of a tree. The research has already been done. If you had actually seriously looked at any of the literature on gun violence, a comprehensive review of which has been done by the Harvard Injury Control center, you’d know that higher deaths from firearms are associated with areas with high gun ownership. Don’t try to pass off your red herrings here, like there being a higher rate of mental illness in the U.S., or more criminals. America’s problem is a childish misinterpretation of the Second Amendment encouraged by the NRA and other stooges for the gun industry, which allows unqualified people to get their hands on weapons every day.

  • http://webpronews Sonia

    I am completely against guns being available through online shopping. What next? Vertual contraception?

    • Roger

      Guns can only be bought LEGALLY online if you have a Federal Firearms License. If you dont have one and you want it that bad then they can ship it to a place they have on record as having a FFL and you can pick it up there AFTER completing the Background Checks and filling out all the proper paper work.

  • Jonathan

    Personally I think it doesn’t make sense any where.

  • http://www.mega.pk/laptop/ Laptop Prices in Pakistan

    Personally I think it doesn’t make sense any where.

  • http://www.StricklerTeam.com Julie

    People that are against gun control are uneducated. If Groupon makes a decision to not allow opportunities regarding guns, I would definitely not entertain being associated with Groupon.
    In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. >From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated
    In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
    China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated
    Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.
    You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
    Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.
    Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!
    The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.
    With guns, we are ‘citizens’. Without them, we are ‘subjects’.
    During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!
    If you value your freedom, please spread this antigun-control message to all of your friends.
    Spread the word everywhere you can that you are a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment!

    It’s time to speak loud before they try to silence and disarm us.
    You’re not imagining it, history shows that governments always manipulate tragedies to attempt to disarm the people~

    • Neil

      No, people who are against guns are often liberals who went to university. We are educated. You are morons who got home schooled by your semi-retarded mothers.

      • Nate

        I am not home-schooled but I have hired multiple employees who were and they have performed well. Maybe you should look at the test scores before lambasting a group. Home-schooled kids blow away public school kids by a wide margin even when both parents don’t have a college degree. If anything, your comment proves your complete idiocy on the subject.

    • john willow


      Stop passing on this garbage. It’s been completely debunked.
      http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2013/jan/06/facebook-posts/facebook-posting-says-gun-rich-swiss-have-lowest-f/ Switzerland does not in any category have the lowest crime rates in the world. A Swiss researcher was consulted for this. Nor does it iasue every household a gun. Stop fabricating information and maybe people who want to have a discussion will actually listen to you.

  • R stevens

    Yes they should distance themselves from gun offers and gun shops. Stop the madness!!!

  • Gary

    Just another example of the Progressive Establishment deciding what is good for the rest of us. Are Corvettes dangerous? Does anyone need to go that fast? Why do you need that many corn flakes? Let’s legislate the size of food portions in restaurants. It’s for your own good.

    The solution to the violence is simple. Just draft a law making it illegal to shoot someone. That should do it. I know eveyone will obey a law.

    • Roger

      Well Said!

    • Neil

      Fact: Americans with all their guns are afraid to use them against government in fear of being called a socialist!!! I could piss in your face – if i was wearing a police badge or a military badge, you’d drink it, that’s Americans on the right.

  • Norwegianbear

    Guns and ammo are commodities like everything else and if someone wants to offer a discount coupon, I see no reason why that shouldn’t be treated like any other coupon. Guns are part of our culture. Based on historical facts, guns are the public only defense against government tyranny and finally, people firing guns guns of any kind do not even come close to ending as many lives as do abortion.

  • Neil

    Yes, I think Groupon should sell LOTS of guns to Americas… without al their murders, how would the rest of the world’s media survive???

    9/11 was great for business, and since the Right wing USA is all about money and the bottom line… bring on all the sick murder to the USA.. it’s good for business!!!

  • http://www.truthbasedlogic.com/gate.htm William Flax

    Under the American concept of the relationship of the citizen to Government, the citizen is responsible not only for his own well being, but has a duty to assist in law enforcement, and in the protection of his neighbors, the Constitution & ongoing free society, as well as his right to self-defense of self, family & property. He also has a duty to assist in the defense of his State & the Union, from foreign threats.

    The right & duty to keep & bear arms reflects this relationship. It is not just about self-protection, sport or hunting. Groupon’s apparent “hand-wringing, only makes them look stupid.

    • john willow

      This isn’t the American frontier, sir. And no thanks, I don’t need your amateur “help” in enforcing the law any more than I would need George Zimmerman’s. And let me assure you that the only place in which you could stop a killer who suddenly showed up with a semi-automatic waepon would be in your fantasy world. In fact, you’d be more likely to cause collateral deaths, if you even got a shot off.

  • http://www.safaricharliegunlube.com Joe


  • Jim Hinen

    They should still offer gun related deals. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. More people are killed every year with knives and vehicles than are killed by guns. Laws should focus on the problem, not the tool or instrument used to perpetrate a crime. We need tougher laws for criminals that use a gun to commit crimes. We all know how effective gun free zones are, and Chicago that has the strictist gun control laws has some of the highest crime rates and crimes involving guns. Why is it a difficult concept to think that criminals won’t follow the laws. They are criminals because they don’t follow the laws. Law abiding citizens should have just as much right to protect themselves than criminals, and I include our politicians under the category of criminals…

  • http://longtailpro.webs.com/ Gary

    The day a person can’t buy parts for weapons or weapons themselves its the time to stand up for your rights as a human being. Soon we will have no rights.

  • Nate

    Stupid move by Groupon, what a disservice to their stockholders. Groupon is a sinking ship.

  • Mike Jacobson

    If they want to suspend firearm deals they should also suspend any junk food deals. Obesity and heart disease kills more people than guns do so no more foods high in fat, salt or sugar.

  • bTeri

    I had reached out to Groupon (as a pretty regular customer) advising them I was no longer going to be a customer due to this new policy… Thought you’d all be interested in the reply I just received…. They claim they’ve received lots of complaints about the offerings at gun ranges and clay pigeon shootings (does the ACLU protect clay pigeons too???). Very polite but clearly taking sides on this issue and clearly losing my business as a result…. You too?? Let them know at support@groupon.com


    Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us.

    We understand that this is a sensitive topic, and that some of our customers may not agree with our choice to pause the promotion of firearm-related deals. Groupon has always aimed to offer a diverse range of products and services to meet the various tastes and interests of our subscribers. However, at this time, enough customers and merchants have voiced their opinions that we believe a hiatus is warranted.

    Please note that we have never sold guns, and this hiatus only applies to firearm-related deals including shooting ranges, clay pigeon shooting, and concealed weapons training classes. We have not made a final determination regarding this category — we are simply taking a break and may reevaluate in the future.

    We genuinely appreciate your opinion and the feedback you’ve given us. I’ll be sure to share your comments with the appropriate people.

    Duncan M

  • john willow

    I applaud Groupon’s decision to stop contributing to the vigilante madness infecting the U.S., not to mention weapons floating around that no one can track.

  • http://eatgrueldog.wordpress.com/ Jay Harrett

    If you would like to be boycotted sure. I think with cheaper than dirt and the eastern sports and outdoor show as an example you may not want to do that.

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