As previously reported by Off The Grid News, Starbucks was initially heralded for supporting local concealed carry and open carry laws, but then CEO Howard Schultz penned an open letter to customers asking them not to bring guns in the restaurants.
McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are obvious Starbucks competitors. Business Insider asked the fast food joints about their gun policies after the letter from the Starbucks’ CEO garnered national headlines.
Both businesses want America to know that the companies are officially “gun neutral in the gun control debate.
“We recognize,” the McDonald’s statement reads, “that there is a lot of emotion and passion surrounding the issue of firearms and open carry weapons laws. While we respect the differing views of all our customers, McDonald’s company-owned restaurants follow local, state and federal laws as it relates to open carry weapons in our restaurants. For franchisee-owned restaurants, operational decisions regarding open carry weapon laws are made by the independent franchisee. That said, as with all aspects of operating a McDonald’s restaurant, we expect our franchisees and their crew to follow local, state and federal laws.”
A similar statement about gun policy was issued by Dunkin’ Donuts, relating both to that chain and its Baskin-Robbins restaurants.
“Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants are owned and operated by individual franchisees who are required to follow all federal, state and local laws with regard to firearms,” a Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman said.
Americans are indeed living in unusual times when simply noting that a business will follow the law becomes both headline worthy and controversial. Indeed, Second Amendment supporters and gun owners from across the country may start buying their morning coffee and lunches from Starbucks’ competitors.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in his open letter to customers that the “presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.”
“Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns,” Schultz wrote, in part. “In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas. From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a ‘third place’ between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.”
Howard Schultz then slightly chastised gun owners.
“Our company’s longstanding approach to ‘open carry’ has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist,” he wrote. “We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement — not by Starbucks and our store partners.
“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.”
The Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gun control advocacy group issued a statement taking credit for the firearms policy shift at Starbucks immediately after Schultz’s open letter to customers was published. The letter was written after a group planned an open carry event at the chain’s Newtown, Connecticut location.