Following Backlash from Excluding NE Firearms Co. From Contest, Staples Decides to Change the Rules

Maple Creek Gunsmithing (Photo credit: Facebook)

Maple Creek Gunsmithing (Photo credit: Facebook)

Staples, the nation-wide office supply store known for their advertisements featuring the “easy button,” apparently decided that they had made a mistake when they did not allow a Fremont, Nebraska gun retailer to participate in their Push It Forward Contest. They have since changed their contest rules and will allow businesses in the firearms industry to participate in future contests.

The trouble all started when Maple Creek Gunsmithing decided to enter the contest for a chance to win $50,000 towards marketing for their small business. However, instead of getting a shot at the prize, they were shot down with an email saying that they were unable to participate in the contest because their business promotes firearms and weapons.

So, the small business did what anybody would do. They posted a copy of the email they received from Staples, along with the explanation, “Wow we spent a ton of money with them and this is the support we get. We are never spending a dime in that store again and would encourage you to do the same” to their Facebook page.

And, well, we all know how social media works. The story went viral.

Nebraska Sen. Charlie Janssen, who is also a candidate for governor, saw the post, was appalled, and sent out an email to his supporters which stated, in part, “The targeting of those who legally buy and sell guns is totally unacceptable.” Apparently he wasn’t the only one that felt that way either.

Support for the small business, which incidentally is run by two Army veterans who have risked their lives to fight for the freedoms that we in America enjoy, has boomed. According to Watchdog, the store owners, Travis Vonseggern and Bill Jackson, have received numerous phone calls and emails from people across the country expressing their support for the two and their small business.

Staples, on the other hand, has also received much communication from people across the nation. Only instead of showing support, they have scolded the company and vowed to boycott them.

And you know how the saying goes, “Money talks.” Staples response?

“We heard you! At Staples, we value all of our customers and appreciate your feedback. We now realize the rules of our Push It Forward contest were too restrictive and kept out legitimate businesses. Unfortunately, we can’t change the rules once the contest is underway. But we will revise our rules to make sure future contests are more inclusive and reflect our commitment to helping all small businesses,” the office supply store announced on its Facebook page.

The same day, Maple Smith Gunsmithing had a similar announcement on their own Facebook page, “We wanted to give you all [an] update concerning Staples and [their] stance in regard to allowing the firearms industry to participate in there contests. We spoke with a representative of Staples who wanted to let us know that they had made a mistake and they are making it right by allowing the firearms industry to participate in any future contests. Thank you all for standing with us in support of the second amendment and our constitutional rights.”

The irony of the whole fiasco is that, thanks to the support of Second Amendment advocates, Maple Creek Gunsmithing has received well over $50,000 worth of free advertising.

Vonseggern, who earned a Purple Heart after suffering a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, stated, “It’s pretty crazy.”