Groupon quietly lifts ban on gun deals in some U.S. cities


Colorado residents looking for good deals on gun range visits might once again be able to use Groupon to do so, after the popular social coupon site has decided to withdraw their ban on gun-related deals in some regions.

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.

The reintroduction of gun deals — which include firing ranges and skeet shooting — is a “pretty recent decision” according to Halliwell, who noted that no public statement on the decision had yet been made.

This decision comes months after the company abruptly cancelled one gun shop owner’s coupon for a concealed handgun training course and subsequently issued a statement in January declaring a hiatus on gun-related deals.

While Groupon told the The Huffington Post that the original choice to ban gun-related deals was not politically motivated, gun-control proponents overwhelmingly approved of the company’s choice.

Ladd Everitt, director of communications at The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence — a group that had admittedly urged Groupon to reduce or eliminate gun deals — applauded the original ban. However, upon learning of the company’s surreptitious reintroduction of gun-related deals, Everitt isn’t too pleased.

“If they have indeed lifted the ban without publicly announcing that, that’s the wrong way to go about it,” Everitt told Red Alert Politics. “I don’t think you publicly change your policy and then in an underhand manner rescind the policy without informing the people who use your service.”

The expired coupon that was accidentally sent out this morning in Groupon’s daily deals for Denver was for BluCore Shooting Center in Lakewood, Colo. Lakewood is a mid-size city located just outside Denver and 22 miles away from Aurora, where the mass shooting at a movie theater occurred last July.

According to Halliwell, this area is one of the markets where gun-related deals have been brought back due to demand by both merchants and customers. When asked in what other areas the hiatus on gun deals would end, Halliwell said there is currently a deal being run in Texas, but that he didn’t know of others currently.

See the screen shot of the deals email below.

(h/t Sarah Muro)

Groupon gun range email