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September 18, 2013

Starbucks CEO: 'Guns are unwelcome ... but not banned'

Topics: National News, Second Amendment Rights

Starbucks has been celebrated for years by law abiding Second Amendment supporters for their hands off policy when it comes to guns. In fact, up to now, every year, responsible gun owners have celebrated the coffee chain with a national Starbucks Gun Appreciation Day. Again, up to now, Starbucks has allowed customers to carry firearms into their stores as long as state and local firearms laws are obeyed. If concealed or open carry is allowed in the state, it's been allowed in Starbucks.

Now, although Starbucks isn't completely reversing their policy, Starbuck's CEO is saying guns are unwelcome but not banned (they will still respect state's firearms laws and a person's right to carry, but ...) :

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 policies 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 recent months, in which gun rights advocates turn up at Starbucks cafes with firearms.

Last month, for example, the company closed down a store in Newtown, Conn., for the day after learning that gun rights advocates planned to hold a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" at the location. The store was near the school where a gunman killed 20 children and six women.

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

Schultz hopes people will honor 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.

While Starbuck's new position is indeed a bit disappointing, personally I don't have a major problem with it. I will continue to do business with Starbucks ... and I will continue to exercise my right to carry my concealed 9mm (I live in Florida and have a concealed carry license). I'm not a big fan of open-carry and can understand that some people can be intimidated by folks carrying their firearms in full view. After all, there are indeed some people that are obviously downright loony and carry weapons, where allowed, openly but clearly not for protection ... they do so just to make a spectacle of themselves ... as in this dumb-ass clown carrying an AR-15 in a Walmart in Texas:

Imagine him doing the same thing in a Starbucks. I'd be keeping my hand damn near my weapon, and keeping an eye on him. Carrying a pistol into a business establishment is one thing ... but an AR-15? Common sense goes a long way toward protecting our Second Amendment rights.

Posted by Hyscience at September 18, 2013 8:23 AM

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