What is Starbucks’ Gun Policy?

Starbucks Gun Policy

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.


Starbucks Gun Policy

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


American Gun Law

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.

About Craig Martin

Craig Martin grew up in the unincorporated town of Lewis, Wisconsin. From a young age, Craig was introduced to guns, as he was tasked with defending his backwood home’s wiring from a scourge of red squirrels.

Ever the animal lover, though; Craig couldn’t let these creatures die needlessly. So he would take his kills and leave them for the foxes, coyotes, and bears to eat at a deer feeder his grandfather built around their home.

His lifestyle made Craig understand that guns are a tool and ever since, has spread the word about how firearms are not a menace, like the red squirrel, but an item to help people. He instils this in every article he writes for USA Firearm Training.


  1. Jim Dearing on March 9, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    I no longer patronize Starbucks, because they do not respect our military veterans and because of their stance on firearms. There are other places to drink a cup of coffee that don’t try interfere with my rights as a gun owner and the rights and respect due our servicemen and women, I don’t plan on going back to Starbucks!

    • Jose on March 9, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      I salute you sir as a veteran of Iraq war. I to do not go to Starbucks to drink coffee, for that I enjoy 7-11 coffee and get the respect as a vet. Thank you sir.???

  2. Hans-Jurgen Wiegand on March 9, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    They still have a drive thru window, so it doesn’t really affect me, unless there is a shooting or robery, then I would step up my pace in the Drive Thru Line! No intervention on my part, just take care of me & mine, just like that Corporation!

  3. Ron on March 9, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    I don’t go to Starbucks, but with this no-gun policy I certainly won’t go. As for other gun-free stores and zones, they will never know if I’m carrying or not.

  4. Stan Freed on March 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    Starbucks has a right to request, and it is up to me to comply or or not. That is why concealed carry is the best in my opinion. Their prices are more of a reason to not enter than their opinion on guns. My choice to carry is my business alone.

    • Denise on February 27, 2020 at 2:59 pm

      I completly agree with you, however, I don’t think that Police Officers fall under this rule that Starbucks has.

  5. Roy on March 9, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    I won’t be in any Starbutts (spelling intentional.

  6. L Boggs on March 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    I have only been in a Starbucks twice. Both times I was invited by a friend who requested we meet there and both times they bought me a coffee. Both times I hated the coffee and poured it out. I have never spent a dime out of my pocket at Starbucks. I won’t be going to Starbucks and my decision is not influenced by their gun or anti gun stance. I just don’t like the products they offer and choose not to waste my money on them.

  7. Jack Black on March 9, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Overpriced swill!

  8. Cliff on March 9, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    I a legal gun carrier. How many gun crimes have been committed by legal gun carriers?
    However, I stopped going to Starbucks for another reason. You will find that product in every middle eastern country EXCEPT for Israel. Why is that Mr. Schultz?
    Not that is matters, the Israelis certainly don’t miss it, nor did I.

    • Bob A. on March 9, 2018 at 7:54 pm

      Truth be known Starbucks tried to make it in Israel but failed. It wasn’t that they were not allowed.

  9. Doug Hansmann on March 9, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    I like Starbucks and I like their coffee. I can understand their policy. They are primarily located in big cities and seeing an open gun will upset some customers. Make your own decision on whether to comply with their company policy (not a law). But don’t let anyone see your gun. That’s why it’s called concealed carry.

    • Marc on July 18, 2019 at 5:44 am

      I’m not attacking you… but I never understood why people get so upset when a civilian carries a gun, in a holster, on their hip… but feel no distress whatsoever when a police officer does the same. A holstered gun is a holstered gun. I mean, what’s the difference?

      • StayStrapped on June 11, 2022 at 5:55 am

        I think people are uneasy when they see police officers with a gun. Concealed carry is the way to go not only for others’ “peace of mind” but so as not to make a target of yourself in case there is an active shooter.

  10. Oldshooter on March 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    I haven’t been to a Starbucks recently, but here in TX, there are 2 different, and very specific, signs that must be displayed to prohibit the carrying of guns on their premises, 1 (30.06 sign) for concealed carry, and 1 (30.07 sign) for open carry. I still don’t see either sign displayed when I drive past.
    The exact same situation is also true for both Panera Bread and Chipotle Grill restaurants, both of which chains made public statements similar to Starbucks’. Costco, who also have a “no guns policy” removed their signage about 3 years ago here, although it is still included in the fine print of their members contract. Maybe they have all figured out that public expression of such anti-American sentiments causes them to lose significant business, at least in some parts of the country.

  11. Snake Clark on March 9, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    If I should grace Bucks because of a friend’s preference, no one will know. Just like everywhere else.

  12. steven gibbs on March 9, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    I follow a simple policy, itf they do not ask, I do not tell, it is the whole point of CONCEALED carry,And if I have need to use it, I really, really want it to be a surprise for the other party.

    • Denise on March 10, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      I agree with you Steven. I like Starbucks coffee and will continue to buy it from time to time. I always get my coffee to go so I’m rarely in the store for more than a few minutes. I conceal carry and nobody knows the difference anyway.

  13. pete on March 9, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    I conceal and carry wherever i go . I follow what my state law allows me to do .I dont really care about request besides dunkin donuts coffe is ten times better and reasonably priced

  14. Kenny on March 10, 2018 at 10:20 am

    I have a CWP. Although I disagree with Starbucks policy, I will still carry even if I choose to patronize them. I just do not tell anyone. As for states that have an open carry law, I still choose to carry concealed, as to not expose myself to a potential threat.

  15. Harold on March 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    I do not go to their stores nor drink there coffee. I do not like the coffee because it is too bitter/strong and costs way too much.

  16. Mofn on May 26, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    I personally go to Starbucks too often. (I say “too often” because of pricing only. I actually like the coffee, the baristas and the people I meet there.)

    I am a legal gun owner and carrier. My opinion is, if you live in a state that allows concealed carry, get your CPL or whatever it is called in your state! Why go around intimidating people if you don’t have to? And by conceal it means out of site and out of mouth. If you do conceal, don’t be the jerk that walks around announcing it. Then why conceal?

    My point is that I walk around with a hand gun in my waist or pocket all the time and no one knows the difference. Except everyone that now reads this. Doh!

    Anyways, that is the ramblings from an old fart. Have a nice day.

  17. Dave on August 31, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Black Rifle Coffee is 1000x better. Judge for yourself. A better cause as well.

    • Jim on November 29, 2021 at 6:59 am

      ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!! Starbbucks is awful coffee…bitter, burnt flavor. Black Rifle is my go to coffee!

  18. Dave on August 31, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Woop di doo. They find or see a gun on you…..no crappy coffee served to you. GET OUT!

  19. Marc Dunbar on October 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    I used to go to Starbucks every day but since the CEO decided to be political and choose the wrong side I have not been there since. 3years now. I switch to Dutch Brothers

  20. Donald Meyer on October 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    I respect your request and understand its origin. I will continue to patronize your facilities but without sidearm. Thanks for your honesty and concern,

  21. DavidL on April 17, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    As a retired military veteran, retired Airport DPS/Security Officer, trained and licensed to carry in the Great State of Texas and hopefully smarter and safer than the average pilgrim, I have a gun on me every time I leave the house.

    I obey the law where it says you can, and cannot, open or conceal carry. I always conceal my handgun and no one, including law enforcement has ever noticed and gotten upset with me about it. I do go into Starbucks on occasion and when I do, I’m armed and until the signs are posted or the socialist party takes over the country I will continue to be armed. If Mr. Schultz doesn’t want guns in his stores then he, or anyone like him needs to post signs in accordance with each state laws on the “open” and “concealed” carry of firearms.

  22. GregK on June 6, 2019 at 11:02 am

    I always carry concealed. If you’re open carry and a nut job comes in to do damage and sees that you have a gun, i.e., open carry, guess who will be the first one shot. Conceal carry is the best option. It is respect for all that do not appreciate it. Also I’m not a hero. If my life is not in immanent danger I will not jump into the fight. I’ll avoid it as I really don’t want to get shot protecting people that do not want me to carry.

  23. Thomas H. Reed on July 19, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    I guess I’ll have to get my coffee someplace else. If I am not welcomed armed, you will not see me there unarmed. I don’t carry all the time, but when I do I shouldn’t have to feel as if I am breaking the law or that I am somehow a criminal for legally wearing my pistol. I have always supported private business when it came to the choice of not allowing weapon on their property. One right is just as important as another. Still, I have the right to choose where I can go and if I am not welcome there then I will not go there. Who I am does not change when I wear a pistol.

  24. Simon Katz on July 31, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    As I sit here armed with a concealed pistol and extra magazines. 2nd Amendment all the way. The coffee is hot, fresh, service was great. I wonder if Manbun boy realizes he just served a concealed carrying armed US citizen?

  25. Scott on December 14, 2019 at 10:31 am

    I guess I don’t see the big deal. It was a request to not OPENLY carry. Which I think open carry is the same as the guy who walks around in public with an AR strapped to his back. He just wants the attention and to “flex” his rights. With those rights comes a responsibility. Just my opinion.

  26. D Slater on April 20, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Starbucks says: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.”
    I find a person wearing a rag on their head “unsettling and upsetting” I would like Starbucks to ” respectfully requesting that customers no longer” come into their stores as rag heads.

  27. Chris on March 12, 2021 at 7:22 am

    I carry (concealed, legally) everywhere the law allows me to carry, regardless of company policy. If I am concealing it, how would they know unless I am printing? And even if I am printing:

    1. It’s not as obvious as you would think
    2. Nobody is looking
    3. It rarely looks like a gun, and
    4. Nobody cares

    Their policy only shows me their discomfort and fear of guns and and that usually stems from a misunderstanding guns, lack of exposure to guns and lack of training. People who are against CCW permits usually do not realize the carrier has been cleared by law enforcement and are most likely to be the best trained in handling their weapon and of sound mind to make the correct decision when forced to deploy their weapon. There are always exceptions, but they are minute. I would trust a CCW holder over a citizen who does not hold a CCW any day of the week because I know they are law abiding citizens.

  28. Kirk on July 10, 2021 at 4:50 am

    I have not patronized Starbucks since their change in stance on the 2nd Ammendment in 2013 and don’t plan on giving them my money. I cut up my gold card and mailed it to them with a letter letting them know why they lost my business. As a concealed carry permit holder, they would not know if I carried in their business but I wish they would simply conduct their business and stay out of politics. Additionally, they are not supportive of law enforcement or military and therefore I will not support them. I will vote with my wallet!

  29. Peter Jacobson on April 22, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    Since Schultz’ statement on guns, I have put the “X” on Starbucks. I recently attended a seminar at a hotel that was featuring Starbucks Coffee and I refused it at the table. The waitress asked me why. I told her I objected to Howard Schultz’ and Starbucks political leftism and anti-gun positions. She said but the coffee is free to me. I said I don’t trust the product, but if you insist on giving it to me, I’ll just pour it on the carpeting in peaceful protest.

    Schultz is now having union drives at his Starbucks outlets. Good! That’s what he deserves for catering to the progressive left!

  30. Don Rose on November 18, 2023 at 8:19 am

    Due to Starbucks obvious anti-gun stance, I choose to no longer spend my money at this company.

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