Starbucks Asks Its Customers Not To Carry Firearms

Abiding by the law has got a little out of hand for the popular coffeehouse chain Starbucks. Now its president, Howard Schultz, has had to come out with a statement requesting that people stop carrying firearms in its 7,000 stores across the United States. He stated that it was not a ban, clarifying that if its customers brought guns into its stores they would still be served and that they would not be asked to leave. But Starbucks would prefer it if you’d leave your weapons at home. “The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling for many of our customers.”

But where has this clarification come from? The firearms debate in the U.S. has regained center stage this week thanks to a shooting at a naval base in Washington on Monday in which 12 people as well as the gunman died. But the Starbucks issue was already a situation beforehand.

Back in August, pro-gun activists came out across the country to celebrate “Starbucks Appreciation Day” to give due thanks to the chain for allowing them to carry firearms in their stores as the law permits. They set up a Facebook page especially for the occasion, which remains open, created by the group “Gun Owners.”

“Starbucks is allowing us to lawfully carry firearms in their store. Recently, they have been the target of unjust attacks from certain groups that do not support our right to bear arms. We will thank Starbucks for standing up for our right to bear arms by going there on Friday, Aug. 9,” the Facebook invitation read.

It further explained that if you chose to carry a firearm during their event, you would have to follow the local and national laws. If you chose not to carry, then you would have to wear pro-gun rights apparel.

The issue provoked a scandal, with anti-gun groups such as those in Newtown, where there was a massacre at a school in December, coming out in protest.

“Our community is still healing and we find it reprehensible that they are picking Newtown to rally,” stated a Newtown Action Allegiance spokesperson. “It is disturbing to think that tomorrow night you and your children may be sitting in Starbucks when people carrying guns walk through the door,” he added.

The shooting at the naval base in Washington on Monday made the situation worse, and the coffee chain felt it necessary to speak out.

The chain’s CEO, Schultz, said that the decision to ask its customers not to carry firearms in its store came as a result of the growing number of so-called “Starbucks Appreciation Days.” Schultz stated that such events gave a misleading impression of the company’s stance on the issue and that they were “unsettling for many of our customers.”

Schultz hopes that people will respect his request to not carry firearms, but he said that the company would continue to serve those who did come armed.

The thin line that the Seattle company treads in order to address the concerns of both the defenders of the right to bear arms and the pro-gun control activists reflects just how heated the issue has become again, particularly in light of the recent fatal shootings.

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