Starbucks’ gun policy appears to be changing, and not for the better for gun owners.
Coffee giant CEO Howard Schultz penned an open letter to customers earlier this week asking them to not bring their guns into their restaurants – including the outdoor lounge areas. As previously reported by Off The Grid News, Starbucks had been heralded by gun rights advocates for its support of Second Amendment rights. But after multiple pro-gun events were held at various Starbucks locations around the country, CEO Schultz did a policy about-face.
The mega coffee chain has not initiated an outright ban on guns at Starbucks, but Howard Schultz certainly did not remove such a possible policy change from being mandated in the future. In the Starbucks open letter to customers, the CEO said he wanted to “give responsible gun owners the chance to respect our request. 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 went on to state that the company respects local laws and had allowed individual location managers to follow the dictates of the communities which they serve. His letter 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.”
Schultz may not have to worry about a divided contingent among his customer base for long, as those who live in open-carry and concealed-carry towns may choose not to patronize the store.
Once again, gun control contingent has demonstrated how foolish and unsafe their misguided perceptions about guns are. The progressive hipster sipping on a double mocha latte will be decidedly less safe in Starbucks once law-abiding gun owners stop patronizing the chain. When a pair of gang thugs converge upon the restaurant with Glocks in their waistbands, or a crazed heroin junkie with a 380 wanders through the door, those who applauded Schultz’s “request” will likely be wishing that a concealed carry permit holder was at the adjacent table.