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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Starbucks says guns are not welcome in its stores, but stops short of a weapons ban

Posted by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 7:52 AM
  • 98 Replies


NEW YORK, N.Y. - Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms.

The fine line that the retailer is walking to address the concerns of both gun rights and gun control advocates reflects how heated the issue has become, particularly in light of recent mass shootings.

Most states allow people to openly carry licensed guns in some way and many companies do not have laws banning firearms in their stores. But Starbucks has become a target for gun control advocates, in part because of its liberal-leaning corporate image. In turn, gun rights advocates have been galvanized by the company's decision to defer to local laws.

In an interview, CEO Howard Schultz said the decision to ask customers to stop bringing guns into stores came as a result of the growing frequency of "Starbucks Appreciation Days," in which gun rights advocates turned up at Starbucks cafes with firearms.

Schultz said the events mischaracterized the company's stance on the issue and the demonstrations "have made our customers uncomfortable."

Schultz hopes people will honour the request not to bring in guns but says the company will nevertheless serve those who do.

"We will not ask you to leave," he said.

The Seattle-based company plans to buy ad space in major national newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today on Thursday to run an open letter from Schultz explaining the decision. The letter points to recent activities by both gun rights and gun control advocates at its stores, saying that it has been "thrust unwillingly" into the middle of the national debate over firearms.

As for the "Starbucks Appreciation Days" being staged by gun rights advocates, it stresses: "To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores."

But the letter notes that Starbucks is standing by its position that the matter should ultimately be left to lawmakers. Schultz also said he doesn't want to put workers in the position of having to confront armed customers by banning guns.

The AP was provided a picture of memo to employees on Tuesday. Partners are instructed not to confront customers or ask them to leave solely for carrying a weapon.

Several companies do not allow firearms in their stores, however, apparently with little trouble. Representatives for Peet's Coffee & Tea and Whole Foods, for example, said there haven't been any problems with enforcing their gun bans.

Shannon Watts, founder of the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action, noted that Starbucks has taken strong stances on other issues. Earlier this year, for example, the company banned smoking within 25 feet of its stores, wherever its leases allowed. The idea was to extend its no-smoking policy to the outdoor seating areas.

"There's a big difference in the connotation of someone holding a gun and someone holding a cigarette," Schultz said.

Moms Demand Action, which was formed the day after the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, has been organizing "Skip Starbucks Saturdays" to urge the coffee company to ban guns at its stores. Participants take photos of themselves at competitors such as Peet's that do not allow guns and post them online.

In the meantime, Starbucks has become a symbol for advocates of gun rights. A website now even sells products bearing an altered version of the Starbucks logo, with the siren holding up a gun in each hand with the words "I Love Guns & Coffee."

source

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by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 7:52 AM
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Replies (1-10):
candlegal
by Judy on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:16 AM

I wonder if this is going to end up coming to a showdown between Starbucks and Moms Demand Action.

romalove
by Roma on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:17 AM
6 moms liked this

I'm never going to understand the people who love guns.

candlegal
by Judy on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM
4 moms liked this

Not everyone that owns a gun loves guns.   Many just want to be able to defend themselves if they have to.

Quoting romalove:

I'm never going to understand the people who love guns.


romalove
by Roma on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:23 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting candlegal:

Not everyone that owns a gun loves guns.   Many just want to be able to defend themselves if they have to.

Quoting romalove:

I'm never going to understand the people who love guns.


I know that.

I didn't say "I don't understand gun owners."

I said "I'm never going to understand the people who love guns."

zzzzbutblessed
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM
2 moms liked this
I'll still go to Starbucks and I'll still have my gun with me...I can understand a business not wanting a bunch of guns in their building, however unless they outright ban them, I'm still carrying mine in.
CorpCityGrl
by Bronze Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 8:31 AM
4 moms liked this

I find the outrage over this a bit over the top.  They are not banning guns from their stores, the DO recognize that they operate in states where it is perfectly legal to carry one, however they are discouraging customers from bringing them into the store.  It's a stance they are taking as a business.  You don't like it, then don't go there. 

lga1965
by on Sep. 23, 2013 at 9:39 AM
2 moms liked this

 I dont go to Starbucks because it is too expensive butI might if they do ban guns.Guns are banned at malls, schools,churches,libraries,government offices,  and other public buildings in my home state and that's what should be  done everywhere.Our education system is in the top 10 in the USA and it shows! We do things the right way,the smart way...Only undereducated, fearful,defensive  jerks feel a need to pack a gun in public.Personally I am not that afraid.

.....BOO !

greenie63
by Silver Member on Sep. 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM
1 mom liked this

Why would anyone need a gun in Starbucks? 

jllcali
by Jane on Sep. 23, 2013 at 11:56 AM
1 mom liked this
Meh. Starbucks sucks.
FromAtoZ
by AllieCat on Sep. 23, 2013 at 11:59 AM

This will still bring many in, totting their weapons, acting like a child 'because they can'.

Either way, I do not go to Starbucks so it doesn't really bother me one way or another.


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