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July 30, 2014

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Groupon halts all gun-related deals

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 this week it has cancelled existing and planned discounts for shooting ranges, conceal-and-carry and clay shooting.

The statement 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.”

It said it plans to review its international standards for these deals while they’re on hold.

The move has come under fire from some businesses who say their deals were cancelled 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 in the time 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’s location and stopped selling certain rifles at its stores nationwide.

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

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