|January 21, 2013
A Texas gun shop proprietor is calling for a boycott of Groupon (GRPN) after the coupon site canceled his deal for a concealed-handgun training course.
Michael Cargill, the owner of Austin’s Central Texas Gun Works, told us that he kicked off the deal on Tuesday and that it was intended to terminate Saturday night or when 600 people purchased it, whichever came first. He adds that due to runaway demand, his Groupon representative called the next day to increase the purchase limit to 1,500 buyers. But on Friday morning, the rep called again with bad news.
“He said the CEO of the company decided that he’s not going to do any more gun-related deals,” recounts Cargill, whom we profiled on Aol Jobs last week as part of ourGuns in America series.
Groupon confirmed that gun deals have been put on hold until further notice, though it did not provide any insight on the role that CEO Andrew Mason played in canceling the deal.
“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,” said Groupon spokeswoman Julie Mossler in an emailed statement. “The category is under review following recent consumer and merchant feedback.”
The abrupt shift is obviously due to the renewed gun debate following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut — though it’s less clear why the company is just now reevaluating its policy toward gun-related deals, more than a month after the shooting.