Gun Shop Owner Calls for Groupon Boycott After It Cancels His Deal

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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 our Guns 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.

What is clear is that the decision to yank the deal before it was finished has Cargill hot under the collar. While he says he's retained a lawyer and is still evaluating his legal options, in the meantime he's trying to hit the company by encouraging gun lovers to boycott the site.

"I'm asking everyone in the Second Amendment community to boycott Groupon, because the message they're sending is, 'Look, we do not want to support law-abiding citizens taking time out of their schedule to learn the safety surrounding firearms,' " says Cargill. The class covers curriculum required to obtain a concealed-carry permit in Texas, including live-fire training, nonviolent conflict resolution and safety training.

News of the boycott has already started spreading on gun forums and in local news, and he says he's received more than a hundred emails expressing support.

As for customers who wanted to take the discounted class, there's good news: Cargill says he will honor any Groupon purchased before the deal was canceled, and those who missed out can take the class at the discounted rate until further notice.


Read more in AOL's special series, Guns in America:
Confessions of a Gun Shop Owner
Idaho Planned Community Would Require Everyone to Bear Arms

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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mesager42

Texans don't need a concealed handgun training course. They need a course in learning how to ensure that gun's chamber is empty without shooting themselves or each other after the magazine is removed.

So many people getting shot - and some even killed - because gunowners don't even know how to check and see if their gun is empty after removing a magazine.

If someone does something that stupid, they should be barred from owning guns for the rest of their idiotic lives. Don't even know basic safety about deadly force.

January 23 2013 at 4:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
austinmavd

If you can own all the guns you want I should be able to go buy a tank and point it at your house. Maybe build a bomb. Where does this entire "right to bear arms" stop? How many guns and bullets does one person actually need for self-protection? Afraid a group of 100 may invade your home?

January 22 2013 at 11:14 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Solomon

Groupon is a joke to begin with. I never subscribed to their web site...but continue to get their email after continuous attempts to have it stoped.

January 22 2013 at 9:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Solomon's comment
Alex

I love Groupon. It fills me with ideas and cuts my costs by hundreds. I've made out pretty good with their offers. I guess I just hit it right and made sure that they are aware of what my interests are. Sorry that your experience wasn't as much fun.

January 23 2013 at 12:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

Oh and btw.....I did have a bad experience with a proveyer and Groupon got right on it and got me my money back within a day.

January 23 2013 at 12:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sggoods

I wonder if the New Yorkers have taken a morning after pill seeing how Gov Cuomo trampled all over their rights? Molan Labe - impeach Gov Cuomo!

January 22 2013 at 9:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
splintercottage

BTW if this is a legitimate training , I'm all for it. Too many folks out there carrying what they don't know how to use and the damage it can do.

January 22 2013 at 8:21 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
splintercottage

"THE SECOND AMMENDMENT COMMUNITY" Nice phrase. I can see the smuggies setting around that powerpoint.

This is about money not community. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure what community has to do with buying a gun. And I've always owned guns. Just don't understand what part of personal identity is served by buying tons of them.

January 22 2013 at 8:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

Groupon can and has the right to cancel the deals, just like I have the right not to use Groupon any longer. Groupon you just lost a customer stop being so PC and stand by your businesses. But we should have expected this from a bunch of left wing New England socialists.

January 22 2013 at 8:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
merdon3538

THere are so many wrong statemetns here by the anti-gun comentators that it defies sanity and logic. I will be happy to borcott groupon!

January 22 2013 at 7:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to merdon3538's comment
mesager42

Good boycott Groupon. That leaves more Egyptian cotton spa robes for the rest of us!

January 23 2013 at 4:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Al P.

Smart decision by Groupon, with the anti gun sentiment going around it makes sense to cool it for now. That TX Gun Shop could advertise in another way, they don't need Groupon. Since it's a requirement that gun owners take the course they can easily get it by just inquiring in their local area. What's the big deal ?

January 22 2013 at 5:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chickenslatts

Never heard of them until now. But I keep away from the "deal" outfits. Most seem to have the liberal modus operandi: They bait & switch, collude with failing concerns, have terms that you need 100X microscope to read & a constitutional scholar to interpret and the age old "something-for-nothing" con which apparently a full half of this country has failed to grasp.

If prostitution is the oldest profession, I'm sure the 2nd was the pimp, the 3rd the "discount" pimp and, no doubt, the 4th was the leader/chief/king who managed to do the least & collect the most. And that's pretty much the way society has operated right up to the present day, boys & girls.

January 22 2013 at 4:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply