Not quite what Starbucks had in mind — gun owners exercising their right to openly carry their firearms into coffee shops.
The company’s statement, issued Wednesday, stems from recent campaign by some gun owners, who have walked into Starbucks and other businesses to test state laws that allow gun owners to carry weapons openly in public places. Gun control advocates have protested.
The fight began heating up in January in Northern California and has since spread to other states and other companies, bolstered by the pro-gun group OpenCarry.org.
Some of the events were spontaneous, with just one or two gun owners walking into a store. Others were organized parades of dozens of gun owners walking into restaurants with their firearms proudly at their sides.
Now, gun control advocates are protesting the policy. The Seattle…., launched a petition drive demanding that the company “offer espresso shots, not gunshots” and declare its coffeehouses “gun-free zones.” And Wednesday, that group planned to deliver 28,000 signatures to the coffee giant’s headquarters in
Businesses can choose to ban guns from their premises. And Starbucks said Wednesday that it complies with local laws in the 43 states that have open-carry weapon laws.
“Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position,” the company said in its statement.
It said security measures are in place for any “threatening situation” that might occur in stores.
Starbucks asked both gun enthusiasts and gun-control advocates “to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue.”
Few even cared about Starbucks’ gun policy — or anyone other company’s, for matter — until January, when word spread that gun-toting advocates of open-carry laws were meeting in coffeehouses and restaurants in California’s Bay Area. Seeing an opportunity to further their cause, the Brady Campaign asked two of the businesses — California Pizza Kitchen and Peet’s Coffee and Tea — to exercise their legal right to ban guns in their stores.
When they complied, the group aimed higher, asking the same of the most powerful name in coffee. Starbucks refused, citing existing safety procedures, but the Brady Campaign persisted.
This is why many people think gun-owners are nuts.
No one needs to be this provocative. No company wants to deal with a bunch of people carrying guns into a public space shared with others, some of whom loathe and fear guns and some of whom may have had terrifying, life-changing experiences of emotional or physical violence relating to the use of a firearm.
Selfish, stupid, frightening behavior.
Yeah, that’s persuasive argument.