A Seattle firearms safety training center and the Internet deal giant Groupon.com are facing scrutiny after posting a Groupon offer for discounts on firearms classes that would open the door for students to be able to carry concealed in multiple states.
The Insight Training Center has 4 locations around Seattle each offering Groupon insiders a $145 class for $69 to obtain a nonresident Utah Concealed Firearm Permit. The Insights Training Center website states, “This 4-hour all-inclusive class fulfills the Utah training requirement and gets your application ready to submit.”
“Combined with a Washington license, the Utah permit allows its holders to carry concealed firearms in 33 states,” the Groupon deal explains.
Seattle’s Fox 13, reports that gun owners have shown extreme enthusiasm over the deal, with 500 people taking advantage of the offer in the first 24 hours.
The owner of the Insight Training Center, Greg Hamilton, told Fox 13 he is extremely pleased with the outcome of his business decision, which he says gets people around the area to notice his business: “They let hundreds of thousands of people know you exist, so it’s good marketing.”
Some of the people interviewed by Fox weren’t too happy about the offer. Referring to the kinds of deals usually encountered on Groupon, one person told Fox, “Lattès don’t kill people, guns do, so I’m kind of thinking that this should be exempt from those kinds of circumstances.”
Once the two permits are obtained, students who have also paid the $51 Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification application fee will be able to carry in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Facing pressure stemming from the controversial deal, Groupon spokesperson Julie Mossler released a statement saying, “The deals featured on Groupon are largely shaped by our subscribers’ tastes and requests; we regularly survey consumers and test new types of features across the country. Shooting ranges have performed well in other markets and we encourage Seattle Residents to let us know what they think.”