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Groupon halts all gun-related deals

Groupon doesn't say why it canceled existing and future gun-related deals, but consumers have been pressuring it to do so since the Sandy Hook shootings.

January 21, 2013|By Samantha Bomkamp
  • Groupon Inc. signage is displayed outside of company headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
Groupon Inc. signage is displayed outside of company headquarters in Chicago,… (Tim Boyle / Bloomberg )

Groupon Inc. has stopped all current and future gun-related deals, bowing to customer pressure a month after the deadly mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The Chicago company said it has canceled existing and planned discounts for shooting ranges, conceal-and-carry and clay shooting.

A statement from Groupon didn't specify the company's motives or when it would resume such deals, other than to say that the "category is under review following recent customer and merchant feedback."

The statement, issued Monday, said the company plans to review its international standards for these deals while they're on hold.

The move has been criticized by some merchants who say their deals were canceled abruptly because of the change in policy. Some media outlets cited a Texas gun shop owner who is calling for a Groupon boycott after he said the site scrapped his deal for a concealed handgun training course.

Several other companies have distanced themselves from gun makers and related businesses since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 students and six adults were killed. Dick's Sporting Goods stopped selling guns in its store nearest to the school in Newtown and stopped selling certain rifles from its stores nationwide.

Private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management sold its stake in the company that made the rifle used in the shooting, and the nation's largest teacher pension fund has moved to sell its stakes in gun and ammunition makers.

sbomkamp@tribune.com

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