Starbucks to Gun Owners: Your Guns Are No Longer Welcome in Our Stores

In a nation that's been increasingly divided by those on both sides of the gun control debate, Starbucks Coffee Company has been heralded as a staunch supporter of 2nd amendment rights because their corporate policy has been to allow customers to carry firearms into their stores in accordance with local law. In what amounts to a slap in the face to legal gun owners everywhere, Starbucks has done has done an about-face on their stance on guns.

In an open letter from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, published on the Starbucks website and slated to run in newspapers across the nation, the leader of the company calls for customers to "no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas." He goes on to say the company's "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."

This can be loosely translated to "we've decided the legal rights of gun owners aren't as important to us as the dollars of anti-gun activists, so we've decided to ban guns in our stores."

To further illustrate this point, Schultz goes on to say the following:

"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."

After all this, Schultz emphasizes this is not an outright ban and is instead a request. He calls on responsible gun owners to respect the request and not bring guns into Starbucks stores.

While the anti-gun crowd is sure to champion this as a victory, it doesn't amount to much in the long run. Gun owners can still bring guns into Starbucks in states where open and/or concealed carry is legal. Guns are unwelcome in the stores, but Schultz stopped short of actually banning them, which could lead to a lot of confusion in the long run, as company employees may be faced with angry customers on both sides of the fence should a customer decide to carry a gun into a Starbucks store in defiance of Schultz's request.

As to the request itself, Starbucks just angered a lot of people, many of whom will stop patronizing their stores. My wife was on her way to buy coffee at Starbucks today when I read this article and told her to go elsewhere with our dollars. It's time gun owners and those who support 2nd Amendment rights start speaking with their wallets and letting anti-gun corporations know we're more than a silent minority.

If you want to let your voice be heard, it can be done at Starbuck's Facebook page, located here:

From the looks of things, this was a bad business decision on the part of Starbucks. There are literally tens of thousands of angry customers posting about how they plan on taking their business elsewhere, with the occasional anti-gun activist giving Starbucks kudos.

Bad move, Starbucks. Bad move...