Susan G. Komen says partnership with gun retailer never existed
Updated Feb 4, 4:45 a.m. ET
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, in the midst of a controversy for defunding and then restoring its partnership with Planned Parenthood, said Friday reports about a partnership with a gun retailer are wrong.
Business Insider reported Thursday that Discount Gun Sales (DGS), a Seattle-based gun retailer, listed for sale on its website the Walther P-22 "Hope Edition." Hotsheet also reported on the partnership Friday. The retailer claimed the handgun with a pink slide and a pink breast cancer awareness ribbon was meant to raise awareness about a life-threatening predator: cancer.
The website Gothamist wrote that the gun retailer said it had teamed "up with the Susan B. Koman Foundation to offer the Walther P-22 Hope Edition in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month." The organization is named after Susan G. Komen.
But Andrea Radar, a spokesperson for Komen, said Friday they have not partnered with DGS and have "no record of receiving money from this company."
And now, the website link at DGS is no longer working and brings up a grey page on DGS's website that says "access denied!"
A store employee at the gun retailer chain's headquarters in Seattle, who would not give his name, told Hotsheet they took the page down Friday afternoon because of a dramatic increase in interest in the product.
"We removed it due to the inundation of phone calls over an item we do not stock," the employee said.
When asked if they took the webpage down at the insistence of Komen, he said no, and when asked if Discount Gun Sales entered into a partnership with Komen, he said he had "no comment on the particular item at the moment."
But employees at three of DGS' 10 locations said they sold the pink gun. An employee at the Bothell, Washington, store said the guns are "popular" and said he took an order "not too long ago" and that DGS had been selling them for at least two years.
Another employee at a Bellview, Washington, gun store said the store had been taking orders "sporadically." He also said they had been selling the guns since he started working that store a couple of years ago.
The $400 million charity is famous for its marketing prowess and partnerships. The organization has successfully convinced the entire NFL to accent their uniforms with pink during October, breast cancer awareness month. It is difficult to turn around without seeing a pink ribbon on a cereal box or on a car bumper.
Komen came under intense pressure this weekend for severing its partnership with women's health organization Planned Parenthood. Komen has maintained the decision was not political, but after a massive backlash, the organization announced Planned Parenthood would once again be eligible to apply for funding for breast cancer screenings and education. Under the new policy, Komen could still deny future funds to Planned Parenthood.
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