Starbucks: Don't Bring Guns Into Our Coffee Shops

Categories: Gunz!

starbucks_cup.jpg
allisonmseward12 via Flickr Creative Commons
Last night, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz posted an open letter on the company's website asking customers not to bring guns into the company's coffee shops.

He said that Starbucks employees had been stuck in the middle of too many uncomfortable incidents in the gun control debate. He also noted that it was a request and not a ban, as he doesn't want baristas getting into confrontations with armed customers. Law enforcement officers with guns are fine, Schulz said.

Anticipating backlash from gun advocates, the CEO noted the company could not please everyone and wrote, "Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable. The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers."

In the past few years, Starbucks has become a flashpoint in debates about gun control, as it refused to prohibit guns in stores. Anti-gun groups then organized boycotts of the company, and gun owners countered with "buycotts," giving the company extra business.

From the letter:

Our company's longstanding approach to "open carry" has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don't exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement -- not by Starbucks and our store partners.

Recently, however, we've seen the "open carry" debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called "Starbucks Appreciation Days" that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of "open carry." To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.

For these reasons, today we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas--even in states where "open carry" is permitted -- unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel.

Read the full letter here.

The letter appears to have been posted around 9 p.m. on the Starbucks website, and three out of four comments by 1 a.m. warned the company that it would lose business and that it was infringing on Second Amendment rights. When the company shared the link on Facebook, it immediately ignited a debate, with some commenters cheering the move and others warning that Starbucks would lose business and now be a target for criminals.

A Facebook user named Jason L. Kreps posted on Dunkin Donuts' Facebook: "I'm guessing your stores will be a lot busier tomorrow."



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21 comments
Marlon De Leon
Marlon De Leon

I don't believe crime only happens in certain areas.. you've obviously missed the sarcasm in all the sarcasm.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

The point is anywhere can be robbed. That's why people carry EVERYWHERE, even in, how did you put it, yuppie Starbucks. Yes this was before the request. But it shows that people have a legitimate reason to want to protect themselves everywhere. If anything it reinforces it. I know you believe crime only happens in certain areas and at certain stores.

Marlon De Leon
Marlon De Leon

oh, wait.. it isn't even a ban.. its a request. dang

Marlon De Leon
Marlon De Leon

oh man, if only starbucks hadn't banned guns in their stores... oh wait.. this was before the ban. if only 'what ifs' shot bullets.

Shawn Weaver
Shawn Weaver

It still seems crazy to me to buy a $5 cup of coffee .im 46 yrs old and i stii remember buying coffee for 35 cents

Marlon De Leon
Marlon De Leon

Don't worry Danny & Jeremy, there are no Starbucks in the hood.. you can feel safe buying your over priced coffee at your local yuppie coffee shop.

David E. Anderson
David E. Anderson

They also know that after paying for your Starbucks coffee that you have little to no money left.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

It's not the coffee I'm threatened by. It's the criminal that now knows I am not armed that concerns me. But you know, armed robbery never happens.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

Well thank God that's cleared up. Now that it's illegal, no criminal would dare try to rob law abiding unarmed patrons. We all know criminals obey the law and especially Starbucks rules!! Good job Starbucks!!

David E. Anderson
David E. Anderson

Sorry...I wasn't aware that firearms at Starbucks had become an issue....Dunkin' Donuts maybe, but not Starbucks.

Jeremy Jensen
Jeremy Jensen

They can say what they want. They will be happy if a store is robbed and a patron has a gun on them to stop it. Just like Subway in the past.

Ben Pogue
Ben Pogue

..its their store, they make the rules .... I'd go as far as saying they could refuse service to anyone they want for any reason....till they take government funds they can do what they want with their stores ...that's IF we lived in a free society ....since we don't, by all means, dictate to them.....

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