Starbucks is a company that is no stranger to controversy. From their holiday cups to their political leanings, Starbucks has pushed many customers away over the years, but they certainly aren't hurting for cash. They are a major corporation and it is likely that even if you disagree with their policies you may still find yourself in one some day which can cause confusion for every day carriers wondering if they are allowed inside with their guns. Well today, we are going to take a look at Starbucks' gun policy so you know what you legally can and can't do inside Starbucks.
THE STARBUCKS STANCE
Let's start with what Starbucks asks of its customers. While not a legally binding measure, Howard Schultz, President and CEO of Starbucks announced in 2013 that the coffee corporation was respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into their stores or outdoor seating areas.
This open letter had massive media attention when it was released, getting time across all of the major news networks as it was a change in policy which prior to this statement simply went along with whatever the local statutes stated about open or concealed carrying depending on the state and town.
Prior to this many gun owners appreciated Starbucks policy allowing them inside with their guns. Some folks even staged “open carry appreciation” days at stores across the country but after Schultz's letter specifically shot down these customers appreciation many gun owners have since had it with the organization.
“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.”
-Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman, President, and CEO
THE LAW'S STANCE
Now even though Starbucks has announced its wishes that its customers not bring guns into their stores the law is another thing and Schultz even said so in his open letter written to address some of the company's new stances.
“I would like to clarify two points. First, this is a request and not an outright ban. Why? Because we want to give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request—and also because enforcing a ban would potentially require our partners to confront armed customers, and that is not a role I am comfortable asking Starbucks partners to take on. Second, we know we cannot satisfy everyone. For those who oppose “open carry,” we believe the legislative and policy-making process is the proper arena for this debate, not our stores. For those who champion “open carry,” please respect that 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.”
It is their right to have their beliefs and implement them in their stores, however it does put them on a list of businesses with no-gun policies and if you don't want to worry about carrying when having your morning coffee we would point you in another direction just for the ease of it, as well as voting with your wallet.
What do you think of this story? Do you still go to Starbucks and if so do you still carry within? Let us know in the comments below.