Poor Starbucks; despite how hard they tried to get out of the gun debate, they just couldn't. So now, CEO Howard Schultz is taking a stand.
On the company's blog, Schultz asks that gun owners "no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas." "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," Schultz writes.
In the past, the Starbucks policy has been to follow local laws when it comes to "open carry," where they permit it in states where it's allowed and prohibit it in states where the laws don't exist. Schultz notes that they chose this policy "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."
Of course, since then, Starbucks has been seen as a "face" of the open-carry policy; pro-gun activitsts have hosted "Starbucks Appreciation Days," while anti-gun activists have spoken out against the store. "To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores," Schultz writes. Which is to say, they tried to stay out but you dragged them in, so now Starbucks is taking a stand.
Obviously, gun owners aren't very happy about the request and many plan to "respectfully" ignore the CEO's letter.