Starbucks this week sidestepped a possible gun ban for its stores like a rich guy slipping by the baristas' tip jar. In other words, in reaction to a pro-gun "open carry" movement targeting its outlets in California, the coffee giant is not going to prohibit "strapped" customers.
"Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions," reads a Starbucks statement. "While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged. We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve ... The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores."
As we reported previously, a group called Open Carry has targeted Starbucks, Peet's Coffee & Tea, California Pizza Kitchen in California, urging its supporters to patronize the establishments with unloaded gun on hip, as is mostly legal in California. The movement aims to bring attention to the safe, legal display of firearms as a deterrent to crime. It's legal as long as gun and ammo are separate, there's not school nearby, the carrier is not a felon, and other rules are observed (see the link, above).
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has pressured Starbucks to follow in the footsteps of Peet's and CPK to ban the open-carry crowd, as it could do legally. But it looks like Starbucks is putting up the white flag instead.
" ... We are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue," the coffee giant states. "As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society."