Legal Issues

Tempest in a Coffee Pot

Starbucks Coffee Company CEO Howard Schultz issued a statement last week that respectfully requested its customers to “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.” A survey of comments on the company’s website and Facebook page shows that gun owners are mostly unhappy about the request and will stop frequenting the stores, but a few are willing to cut Starbucks some slack and stay with the store. The statement, posted on the Starbucks website, recognized that Starbucks stores have been caught between gun-rights groups—especially open-carry advocates—and anti-gun bigots, saying, “Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. 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.” The Schultz statement continued, “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.” The Wall Street Journal reported that the shift in Starbucks’ gun policy came last month when armed gun-rights supporters assembled at a Starbucks in Newtown, Conn., the town in which a gunman massacred 20 schoolchildren and six others months earlier. Gun owners said they wanted to show their appreciation for Starbucks and support for armed residents of Newtown whom they felt had been unfairly stigmatized by the coverage of the shooting.

When word of the gathering leaked out, it grew in size and tension. Outside the brick store, pistol-carrying residents clashed with gun-control advocates who decried the “appreciation day” as an affront to the grief-stricken town. To defuse things, Starbucks shut down the store for the day.

About one in seven commenters in the Starbucks website comment section (900 comments) said the policy would make them stop going to the store: “flying_tigress9” wrote: “I plan to give Starbucks a wide berth as they will now be frequented only by liberal fools… safer now there? LOL… they just became a more dangerous place to be, just like Fort Hood and the Navy Yard. What a dumbbell their ‘leader’ is.” “ELCIDGRAD” wrote in the Starbucks website comments, “I love how you didn’t mind us bringing our M9’s into the Starbucks at Camp Buehring. (Seriously, thanks for the coffee though.) It’s ok over there, but not stateside? Apparently, there are too many nervous Nellies here that are scared of a piece of steel that once protected their right to be ignorant and fearful.” On the Starbucks Facebook page, more than 13,700 people commented, many along the lines of this from Jessica Silveri: “And I respectfully decline his request. I have a child who is often with me and I have a right to protect him and myself. More women should carry some type of weapon because the world has become cruel. You never know when you may need to protect yourself so, ladies, always be prepared.” Natalie Gray: “I am an AVID Starbucks drinker. This will probably change now. What a shame that a coffee-house thinks it can infringe on my Second Amendment right.” Richard Ney: “Attention criminals, no one in Starbucks will have the ability to defend themselves during an armed robbery. I am positive I won’t be there. Gold card has been disposed of and new local coffee shop already selected. I refuse to support any business that eliminates the choice I have as a United States citizen and military veteran.” However, our own Cheaper Than Dirt! Forum participant “horselips” took a different view: “I don’t blame Starbucks one bit. Have you seen the photos of these open-carry azzholes hanging out in the coffee shop with AR15s, AK-47s and riot shotguns? These jerks tried to turn a restaurant into a gun show for tone-deaf Bubbas playing Rambo. I know it’s all ‘legal’ but I’d have thrown their butts out of any of my restaurants too. Open carry is fine in the field, but almost never appropriate in an urban/commercial environment, especially with tacticool long arms. Thanks a lot open-carry morons… for ruining it for everybody. We don’t need attention-whores turning more corporations against us.” What’s your take? Will you continue concealed-carrying your Glock IWB while you sip a soy-milk latte with extra foam? Did Schultz inadvertently split the baby and alienate millions of gun owners? Have you had your last Starbucks brew?

Share your views with us in the comment section.

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Comments (50)

  1. Yeah, both you guys make good points. I didn’t go to Starbucks to begin with. I just don’t see why if it was open carry, why not let it be with handguns? I’d never want to carry any of my long guns into a business, and I can see where other patrons would be offended in some way. That’s not my style, and it would seem to serve no useful purrpose. You know, in the old west days, the bar tender would take everybody’s guns up when entering the bar, and return them upon leaving.
    I don’t want to scare, or offend anyone, but if we have open carry, and most people you see on the streets and in stores are visibly armed, there is no first target for a bad guy. Not if almost everyone has a handgun in plain view. But that takes time, time for people to be informed and educated, and become accepting of it. I believe the law was fairly new, and it wasn’t to that point yet probably. Then, a few decided to bring long guns into the equation, and it made people uneasy. They complained, and the CEO did what he thought was best, that’s all. If I really wanted to buy Starbucks, I’d cover my handgun, and walk on in. He wasn’t changing the law. From what I understand, he just asked people not to blatently offend others, inside his stores. That’s his right. I hunted more than 30 years, before being disabled in ’95. I have a house full of guns, and love reading all about hunting, and perhaps one day I’ll dust off the press, and start loading again. But, I see no positive purpose in forcing my opinion on thers, like that.

  2. I am not ashamed. And I do not run or hide from a discussion. Respectful dialogue and communication helps us all to give thought and understanding to any situation. It makes us better people. The most powerful weapon in the world is the human voice. It feeds on words. Words are supplied by the brain but they originate in the heart.

  3. @ Billy (Comment #46) You see though, there’s the thing – CEO Shultz never actually did request we stop making his store a “political battleground”. If he had, that would have been an easier pill to swallow. Instead, he requested rally goers stop open carrying in Starbucks. Instead of calling out the antagonists who were the real problem, he went straight for the guns.

    Rarely these days are there any public places to hold a demonstration that isn’t somehow controlled by either a private entity or public department at some level of government. So when you consider this reality, where then do persons gather for the purpose of peaceable assembly as guaranteed by the First Amendment?

    The pro-gun activist originally thought they had such a place to gather in Starbucks. And for a while they did… until the antagonists became violent. Were they kicked out or chastised in any way? Nope, instead the peaceful rally goers had to pay the price, as usual.

    So there is a principle at stake here – one that we are losing. Yes of course the private owners have their say, but the patrons do as well. We can vote with our dollars, and yet I’m seeing very few here willing to stand on that principle, and for that, you all should be ashamed.

    I’m out!

  4. G man and Bill, I do believe that if we were all sitting at the table we could have some good discussion and actually be of the same persuasion. This blog type of communication is one dimensional and is therefore disjointed.

    Mr. Schultz requested we stop making his store a “political battleground”. Also please agree with me that people do not carry shotguns or rifles for self defense while sipping coffee or shopping for toothpaste. If I see a long gun in public, I am gonna assume someone is going to start trouble or trouble has already started. There are limits to all our rights; free speech, assembly, voting, and unreasonable searches. There is a place for demonstrations and movements but private business owners or land owners can say not on my ground. We have to respect that. Where I live in Western NC, we have open carry but I never see anyone doing so.

  5. My apologies, I failed to discern the differences; whether it be called a protest, movement, or demonstration – I generally consider each of these terms to be interchangeable derivatives of the other. Never-the-less, the fact remains that you are correct to make the distinction, given that each word properly has its own place in our language.

    However, in the spirit of my overall point, might I specifically refer you back to one of my earlier posts (#27) which may better help you understand my position for this particular argument? It appears that many of those posting here are under the impression that yahoos are casually strolling into Starbucks with their long-guns to have a coffee with the purpose of intentionally agitating other patrons.

    The truth of the matter is these have been organized demonstrations that intentionally included the open carry of short and long guns as a matter of demonstration. At any other time these folks do not usually carry their long guns throughout their day in such a manner. I repeat, these were intentional peaceful demonstrations.

    The problems only began after anti-gun antagonist caught wind of these Starbucks pro-gun rally’s and began to seek them out by confronting the demonstrators as well as employees with aggression, and at times with violence.

    As usual, focus was brought to bear on the peaceful demonstrators rather than the antagonists. This ultimately led to Starbuck’s CEO making a request in an “open letter” for all patrons to cease open carry in all Starbucks.

    So regardless of how polite CEO Howard Schultz’ request comes across, compliance has the same effect as a political ban. Don’t think for a second the anti-gun antagonists aren’t very aware they won this battle. Of which only encourages them to push their agenda even further.

    But what I find even more unsettling is how supposed pro-gun advocates are now willing to leave their guns in their cars over a cup of joe, and all because they were asked so nicely. This completely defies the logic and purpose of bearing arms for personal defense. It also clearly shows the anti-gun antagonists that each gun owner has their price.

    The bottom line is that you won’t have your weapon if an active shooter situation arises. We’re not responsible for your actions.

  6. “G-Man”, not speaking for the others but agreeing with them. I don’t live in an open carry state, but wish I did. Not so I can walk into a business with my AK, but so my weapon could imprint could actually imprint my clothes, or partially show, without it getting me in trouble. What I said about Starbucks still stands. I frankly wondered why the CEO made such a big deal about people wearing handguns openly, but I didn’t realize they were talking about long guns until reading this post. Makes sense now. I said demonstration, you said movement. I don’t believe there was any movement, but if you live where you can do it, feel free to carry a long gun into a business. We’re not responsible for your actions.

  7. @ Bill (Comment #42). Well you’d be wrong. This is not a slight matter for you to attempt humorous assumptions about. I’m dealing in reality and established facts. Do you seriously not believe there was major fear amongst the anti-integration racists of the 50s, 60’s and 70’s as their movement progressed?

    As I recall people were hurt, killed, and a leader assassinated over that movement. Make no mistake, every movement I’ve mentioned has had its share of violence and deaths perpetrated by others that feared their very cause. So while you doubt that I “probably won’t feel threatened”, and before you speak for others, please consider the facts engrained in our history.

    Whether these fears are real or imagined, every anti-movement antagonist still has the potential to carry out dangerous or deadly actions based on their perceptions of what is real. So the threat does exist.

    It is only through consistent familiarization and perseverance to each cause, did each movement finally prevail. They simply refused to go away. Eventually the standards they set forth became common-place. No one thinks twice about sharing a bathroom or a seat on a bus with someone not of their color. That indicates to me that minorities’ up-front in-your-face movement eventually worked.

    Hiding is not the answer because every time another idiot mental case shoots up a place, we lose major ground and have to start all over again with the campaigns and fund-raisers to fight a cause we supposedly already won in an Amendment over 200 years ago. I’m fed up. Something has to change. We can’t just keep repeating the same old methods that never get us anywhere.

    Maybe it’s just time to be a little more in-their-face. Nothing else seems to be working.

  8. Yeah, but see “G-Man”, “Billy” is right. It’s oddly funny how people who know nothing at all about something, feel strong and passionate about imposing laws against said something, which would impose on everyone around themselves. For example, banning magazine rebuild kits. A simple spring, and a follower, right? People who are scared think this is a conversion to enable more shots fired out of your magazine. What about the politician who thought magazines were all disposable, wanting to impose a law, dealing with that? The people who want all forms of hunting/trapping Bear in the state of Maine to cease? Those poor folks would have to buy expensive running shoes, and carry a bottle of ketchup in their pockets, everywhere they go. If you happen to get caught in the middle of a woman’s rights, civil rights, or gay rights demonstration, you probably won’t feel threatened. But flaunting and taunting to push your rights on the general public with long guns in a business is likely to scare and alienate those sheeple, rather than inform and educate them, possibly changing some minds. Most of those folks don’t have a clue how Juniper smells on a cold damp morning while Quail hunting, or how beautiful and quiet an evening can be, sitting in a tree stand, watching the sun disappear, while wildlife scurry below. They see a gun, something they know little or nothing about, and people who want to stand their ground, and they quickly form opinions. It does our cause no good to scare or alienate the public, just as it does nothing positive to push your rights with Police. It astounds me, how irrationaly stupid many people are, but imposing our views on them in this manor, seems very counter productive to me.

  9. Nowhere in the Declaration of Independence which influenced our Constitution, does it say -We hold these truths to be self-evident, as long as you hide them from the sheepish-liberal public.

    I find it interesting how all other forms of activism is protected and appropriate until it comes to the right to bear arms. All of a sudden there is some unwritten elitist protocol that some here feel everyone else must comply with.

    Civil Rights groups publicly marched to their cause, as did Women Voter Rights, Worker’s Rights, and recently Gay Marriage Rights. But some of you want the Gun Rights advocate to just “stay in the closet” so-to-speak.

    Is public silence how all these other rights were advanced and won? I think not. So if you chose to hide, that is your prerogative. But don’t snobbishly come on here and talk down about others that choose to publicly exercise their lawful First Amendment Right in support of their Second Amendment Right.

    Though it may make you feel better, coming here on a forum where the majority already holds the same beliefs does nothing to further the education of our rights to the outside anti-gun masses. You all should be ashamed! And don’t ever call yourself an advocate, because your lack of action does nothing to further the cause as long as you remain silent, passive, and “in the closet”.

  10. Hey Bill from Boomhower….very thankful for your comments and call for practical application of our liberties. We must continue to encourage the gun debate and remain champions for self defense and the use of guns for sport and collecting. We (gun enthusiasts) must not offend easily and realize there is a segment of the population that knows little about guns, their use or history. In your face gun rights snobbery will never advance our position. We must always take the higher ground. Again, from the comments here on this thread, some still don’t understand the whole picture. There is a law in NC where one can be charged with “carrying a gun to the terror of the public”. Well, obviously vague, this law as more to do with the observer than the gun tote-er. Some people are afraid of a pop-tart cut to look like a gun while others would think nothing of seeing any gun being carried in a peaceful manner. So, if one has a desire to intimidate and scare the innocent public with their gun, then we have issues NOT related to the gun issue but more of ego, pride and bullying. The gun owners I know are not in that category. No, we do not need to take our long guns into businesses or anywhere but the range and the field.

  11. I’d never heard the whole story, I guess. I heard he “asked” patrons not to come in armed, not demanded it. Now, I read where guys were coming in to order coffee with long guns. What did they do, balance AKs and shotguns across those tiny tables, then stand nearby holding hot coffee, trying to look natural? No wonder! I bet they scared the piss out of those poor liberal urban yuppies! If we as responsible gun owners expect to plead our cause, that’s probably the worst way to accomplish it that I could readily think of. No wonder this story got such attention. But, if I were a gambling criminal, I wouldn’t bet that every patron in a Starbucks on any given day would be un-armed. I don’t go there myself, anyway. I’d be more inclined to briing a thermos, find a park bench, and spend the difference on a box of 7.62X39mm ammo.

  12. They’ll ask us back when one of their stores is robbed at gun point and their associates are tied up in the back room like the fast food chains that have been targets lately.

  13. Why don’t we just cut Obama some slack? I mean he is just trying to make everyone safer by removing guns right? I mean he is in between a rock and a hard place right?

    I have no sympathy for a company that does things like this. They have a right, in my opinion, to ban whatever they want from their property. Therefore I have a right to not go on their property. I will not support a company that does not allow me to have the right to defend myself. The company is also showing that instead of standing up for something, they pander to the complaints they have received. If Mr. Schultz believes in the 2nd amendment, he would allow responsible gun owners to enter onto his property. If I were told I couldn’t enter my neighbors house with my kids because they don’t like kids, I would refuse to go into that house. In the same way, I refuse to enter Starbucks if they will not let me carry for self defense.

    And the CEO can say it is a “request” all he wants. What he basically is saying is the same thing as a ban. He can give me the opportunity all he wants to respect his request. I gave him the opportunity to allow gun owners in his restaurant and he blew it. So no thanks, I will not give him my business.

  14. I am a Gold Card Member of Starbucks and have frequented their establishment 3 times a week for 7 years. But, I wrote and told Schultz, I would stop and never come back unless he apologizes to those of us who are law-abiding Concealed-Carry holders. I also said I would do everything I can to hurt their business in the future. I can’t stand people who disregard our God-given, Constitutionally protected rights. It’s their loss if they don’t listen! Captain Jim Green, a Veteran, Retired Airline Pilot, Federal Flight Deck Officer, Current University Professor

  15. I question this private bullspit is Starbucks a public Corporation or single owner,,. ?
    It is about time that the advantages granted to Corporates by we the people come back to who actually grants them such status.
    And it is not some incompetent ass kissing bureaucrat or elevted a hole.
    Corporate structuring is a tax status. and one that is spelled out by Fedal laws rules and regulations.
    As a corporate buisness entity they should have no power to limit Rights of the people nor do they have a right to try and lobby to remove a Right of the people
    There are laws agains discrimination that are based upon Constitutional grounds and this should also be based upon them.
    The taking back of corporates usurpation of powers they were never supposed to obtain, This is the only way true americans can ever once more be free.
    Please do not give me that same lying bull crap by both Repub and demo/ progressives try to f$3k us over with , A. a corporation is required by law to make its holders money.
    Do you know how efn wackedvout that is. A,fn pimp by law is responsible for his share hildes to make money.

  16. Mr. Schultz can put up all the signs he wants in Oklahoma. Problem is it doesn’t do anything but alienate those of us who are licensed to carry and scare away the “sheep” who depend on us “sheepdogs” to keep the “wolves” away. My wife and most of my friends do not carry, but they sure like having me around. No commercial business in Oklahoma can dictate where you carry no matter what kind of sign you put up. I hope other CCW states have similar provisions. Better to have kept his mouth shut than put up a sign with no teeth.

  17. Not a single poster to this point has made the distinction between government and private intervention. What an I talking about?

    Our Constitution was written by the Founder to protect the citizens from an over zealous / corrupt government. I’ve read some here claiming “infringement” of their “Constitutional rights”. The actions of Mr. Schultz, as a private property owner, are all well within the boundaries of his legal recourse. It is perfectly legal for a citizen to set the criteria for all other citizens to follow when said citizens are on private property. And don’t confuse “open to the public” with “public property”.

    Mr. Schultz has been put into a difficult position by an over zealous sect from within our own ranks. The Open Carry proponents that have been the ones pushing this situation to this inevitable outcome are the ones to blame for this final decision from Statbuck.

    It’s been pointed out that the difference between normal open carry (openly visible sidearm) and what these particular few zealots projected (openly visible riot guns, hunting rifles and military style weapons) is the crux of the problem. To some degree I agree with that statement. Their actions were all well within the law. We all pride ourselves that we are a nation of laws. So we really cannot condemn a section of our group simply because they took the law to the limit.

    But what we all know, “Because you CAN do a thing does not mean you MUST do a thing” is also true in this matter. While we all must do everything we can to protect our 2A and all other rights, we need to exersize some common sense when doing so.


  18. THINK ABOUT IT PEOPLE; Starbucks is a coffee house. One goes into a Starbuck’s and you see folks with their computers, newspapers and a couple of tables with females just chatting. They sell Jazz and New Age cds. These people don’t want anything but what’s in front of them on their minds. Someone walks in with a hog leg (or an AK ,pretty stupid) these people turn their attention and start thinking intent. Why mess with other peoples karma. I think coffee house, I think Maynard G. Krebbs.*
    Two different things: Don’t show off. Don’t open carry your weapons. Conceal

    *Beatnik 50s and 60s.

  19. Well I guess I won’t be drinking Starbucks coffee anymore. D&d is better anyhow….I guess your local Starbucks will be a gun free zone for the next nut job who wants to kill. Good Luck Mr. CEO…

  20. I have my rights, and Starbucks have their rights. It is also my right not to do business with establishments that intrude on my rights. My right to defend myself is a sovereign right, and that’s that. Crazies and robbers don’t care who or when they take advantage of people, and I have the right to be not taken advantage of, also. I can drink coffee at many places, and rights should be good there too.

  21. @ Jack (Comment #28) – Show a single instance where an organized protest led to an adverse effect that caused a Constitutional right to be withdrawn. Getting it out in the forefront worked for minority civil rights, women voter rights, gay marriage, abortion rights, unionizations, separation of Church and State. Though I don’t agree with most of these examples, the fact of the matter is open protests won the day for each of them.

    It made the public become used to their ideas and eventually accept them. So I submit that the same principles must be applied in order to help to quail the fears of the timid anti-gun population. The introduction and constant show of support for ideas is a proven and effective approach. Hiding is not the answer.

    Liken it to the water in the pool being cold at first, but then you eventually get used to it and accept it.

  22. “Protests” like that simply add to the film clips and sound bites which will be used to frighten the public into supporting those who would take our 2nd amendment rights away. We need to portray ourselves as completely reasonable and trustworthy of the right to carry lethal force.

  23. It’s called protest people. The right to peaceably assemble – another Constitutional right I might add. The display of guns is the equivalent of our protest signs. It is not as if every Starbucks has to deal with random yahoos open carrying AR-15s on a daily basis. It was done with a purpose and a message. So stop losing perspective folks.

    There is nothing new about businesses becoming the chosen meeting place for protests. So I ask, if this were a pro-gay rally, would an “Open Letter” have been issued to them? I think we all know the answer to that question would be a resounding “no”.

    Make no mistake, our fundamental right to bear arms is constantly under heavy attack these days, and we should vehemently defend it at every turn. Conceding to Starbuck’s request is tantamount to a lost battle. In the end, enough losses will lead to an overall defeat.

    Those that have posted in defense of Starbuck’s simply cannot possibly understand the full impact of what is actually at stake here. No matter how you dice this up, complying with Starbuck’s request, no matter how polite it was, is still a successful ban. The anti-gun side just won this little battle.

    Tactical advantage aside, for those of you who believe fighting the cause is best done by hiding your gun in a concealed manner so no one knows, well that’s like the homosexuals that had to live in the closet. Open carry is our form of “coming out”. It’s our form of showing “gay pride”. And last I check the Constitution allows this.

  24. I’ll bet dollars against donuts that we will hear more of this on Piers Morgan etc. Why give the other side ammo by acting like crazy fools?

  25. Starbucks has the right as a business to make their request. I really blame this action on the idiots that think they are Rambo or such, walking around with an AR, AK, shotgun just to show they can legally open carry. What the hell Bozo, isn’t a .45 or any handgun enough? Yes, you have that right but you are not doing yourselves or any one else any good. This is just the action that Feinstein, Pelosi, Reid, Holder, and of course Obama want. Leave the long guns at home.

  26. I conceal carry and as such never was, nor will be, an issue at Starbucks (both times a year I am there).

    That said, should I choose to open carry in Starbucks, the policy certainly does not prevent me from doing so. It is not a ban, it is a request, and can be ignored if you feel the need.

    Thus, Starbucks isn’t going anti-gun. It is simply saying that it wants to remain neutral in an issue that has nothing to do with making or drinking coffee.

    They never wanted to be part of the debate. The “Menstrals Against Guns” group tried to boycott blackmail Starbucks in Seattle to become a gun-free-victim-zone (their goal was to make commerce of any kind functionally impossible for carriers). Starbucks stood up to them (not willing to lose the buisness of any side). They were never pro-gun.

  27. The most reasonable comment was the last one in the article. Those of us who carry concealed are mild mannered sorts who believe that we have a right to protect ourselves from lethal threat. We are not hot headed (hair on fire) militants bent on frightening the general public (sheep) and playing into the hands of the gun grabbers. I would be uncomfortable too if I were enjoying my cup when a group of fellow citizens walked in swinging a hunting or range worthy arsenal. I might judge this to be the beginning of strong armed robbery. Types like those who demonstrated outside the Starbucks should GROW UP!

  28. I have to agree with horselips…some have taken advantage of Starbuck’s to make their point. Starbuck’s is about coffee, not guns. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive until people use them to make a public point that overshadows their commerce. Can’t say that I blame Starbucks, but IWB stays with me where legal, even if not “welcomed.”

  29. Anyone that tries to defend this CEO’s supposedly “respectful“ request is naive. No way, no how does his request make “everyone feel relaxed and comfortable”.

    In order to satisfy the comfort level of the anti-gun customers, he would have to decrease the safety, security, and comfort level of the pro-gun customers. So how does that make Starbucks into a “place where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable”? It can’t; it is impossible!

    It is the typical liberal mindset that allows this CEO to think that asking us to go without our guns is an acceptable imposition in order to make all customers happy. His thinking shows that he actually believes our guns are optional, thus displaying a lack of respect for our right and need to carry them. So with this in mind, how can his request be considered “respectful” as he claims? It should be apparent to anyone that the only respect extended here is to the anti-gun customers.

    In reality he’s politely asking us to check our lawful Constitutional rights at the door so that others that don’t believe in the Constitution won’t feel so uncomfortable about their beliefs.

    Here’s a humorous perspective to help drive my point further: Even though all persons have a legal and God given right to have a set of teeth, we ask those customers with teeth to please no longer bring them in our stores. We want to give responsible tooth owners the chance to respect our request and by doing so, you will help accommodate our toothless customers by making them feel less fearful of the possibility of being bitten.

    It has always been said that the only way to bestow additional rights to a particular group, you must infringe or take away the rights of others. It’s scientific yo.

  30. As a CCW holder, I personally have no need to open carry. Here in NC I often see open carry, but rarely anything more than a sidearm.
    If you don’t like service establishments that prohibit weapons, choose another. But beware- Law enforcement officers frequent coffee shops, and if they become hinkey about groups of Rambos celebrating AK47/AR15 day at the local Grandma’s Donuts, they are likely to request Grandma forbid such practices. Can you understand the “Llaw of Unintended Consequences”?

  31. I learned a long time ago that when you make a decision that splits a point of view, you must stand strong behind it. Good, bad or in-different, you made the choice and the pro’s and con’s of that choice will be yours to live with. Howard Shultz made a choice (or request) that he now has to live with.

    Here is how his “request” will now be received by me:
    1) my $200 coffee bean budget per month for my shop has moved over to Dunkin Donuts
    2) my monthly $50 coffee bean purchases for the troops care-packages (along with rock star energy drinks, carmex lip balm, mechanic hand wipes, and other hygienic items) – is now be replaced with Dunkin Donuts coffee beans
    3) birthday and holiday gift certificates (average about $200-300 a year) are now going to be replaced by Dunkin Donuts or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf certificates

    I have to say, it did bring a smile to my face to throw away 4x unopened bags of Starbucks coffee per their request. Since my transition to Dunkin Donuts, coffee tastes a bit better to my soul and I seem to be saving a few dollars more.

    I also must state that no person will request that I “do not carry” anywhere. If this is the case, I will not frequent or shop that location ever again.

  32. While this does not apply to Starbuck’s I am just waiting for the multimillion dollar lawsuits to be filed against those companies who out right ban citizen’s right to self-defense, then get robbed, injured, or killed on these business’ properties due to violent crime. I feel that the legal argument could be made that by removing my ability to effectively defend myself, you are taking on the legal responsibility to protect me; thereby if I get mugged, robbed, shot, or otherwise fall victim to a violent crime while in your care I can sue you for failing to take due diligence. While I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, I would definitely speak with a lawyer about this if I or one of my loved ones were ever in a business that forbid open and/or concealed carry on their premisses.

  33. The solution is simple. If the state allows it, go there. If they put up a stink don’t go there. In fact, I will never go there again. I don’t carry…ever, but i do own guns. So, as gun owners we should all ban together and simply say “screw them” There are many coffee shops around. They just lost a very good customer in me. But, as i said. If i had to make a choice and i did. I wonder why it is ok for cops to go in with guns. when Starbucks needs help they should send them in with little night sticks. then they would change their tune.

  34. I’m not a fan of open carry, I much prefer concealed. Starbuck’s hasn’t forbidden, just requested as is their right. What I take offense to is his comment about “..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.” Implies that citizen’s who legally carry openly (again not a fan) are somehow more dangerous. Slightly offended by that statement, would have preferred that he didn’t say that. However, I being a responsible gun owner will respect Starbuck’s request and I will not open carry while I am visiting their stores.

  35. I can’t fault the Starbucks owner for making this request. I do believe in and support the 2nd amendment but, we, as gun owners who don’t want gun control forced on us should try to not make people who are of a different point of view uncomfortable. It is about respect for others. Everyone knows there is a heavy concentration of anti gun people that use Starbucks locations. Why open carry there and aggravate the situation. If you feel you want your gun with you where ever you go, like I do, then get a concealed permit and cover it up. Why make a big show about owning a gun, there is no reason.

  36. What they’re doing is making some elitest hoplophobes feel better without banning any sort of non-police weapon. Unless a retailer says specifically not to come in with a (legal CCW) gun, I go in carrying. They have the right to say we can’t come in, and if they say that, I’ll respect it.

  37. Starbucks is right in their request and it’s not an infringement on the 2nd amendment. We do not have the right to be “in your face” with our firearms. If I was a store owner and someone came in with an AR or Shotgun, I would politely ask them to leave. Self defense is one thing, but being obnoxious is another. Get real people, stuff like this hurts the cause of gun rights.

  38. I for one, do not frequent Starbucks, as their name implies it is too expensive. I feel, as do some of the other readers, the people that held their little protest in Conn. took it too far, did more damage than good for our 2nd Ammend. rights, they obvisly got carried away and the group mentality dropped to below the common sense level. Carrying Long guns as a statement of personal defense is not appropriate, nor reality as far as I am concerned. We as a people have the right to protect ourselves, just as the property owner of Starbucks has a right too say no firearms. We can’t have it both ways, we can elect too not patronize any business that does not support the 2nd Ammend, that is our choice, the owners of said businesses have the right too say no, it is their loss if they chase off good people by doing so. My prior bank did the same thing, I moved my money from their premises too a gun friendly bank.
    We have a responsibility to behave rationally too keep our rights thru the 2nd ammendment, the people in Conn. did not act responsibly, therefore they forced another group too take action that affected the rest of the us. We need to police ourselves so the Government and others do not do it for us!
    All I can say is the action of others has jeopardized the majority of responsible people. There are other ways to accomplish your goals, we the people of Colorado, showed how it is done the right way, also you make a bigger statement if you do it the right way.
    Your voice isn’t heard in a coffee house, it is heard at the voting booth!
    Semper Fi!
    Cort Stevens

  39. I sympathize with Mr. Schultz, and think that he was just tired of his business being turned into a war zone for the gun rights political battle. They just want to sell coffee.

    I also agree that open carry is fine in some circumstances, but our founding fathers didn’t wander around Philadelphia or Boston in the late 1700s and early 1800s with muskets over their shoulders. Carrying long arms in a civilized urban environment may be legal in some places, but certainly isn’t necessary.

    Mr. Schultz worded his letter as a request against open carry. He says nothing about legal concealed carry. If you have a concealed carry license, then you’re armed for self-defense, and giving away the fact that you’re armed robs you of the element of surprise in the event of an armed encounter.

    I am a staunch advocate of the second amendment, a life member of the NRA, and believe in open carry when appropriate. However, I also recognize that some of the “open carry” zealots are giving the rest of us a bad name. Policemen are openly armed, and they also wear uniforms so we can immediately know that they’re “good guys”. Undercover or plain-clothes law enforcemement officers are also armed, but are typically carrying concealed unless they’re openly wearing a badge. There is no such “badge” for concealed carry holders, which is why I’m against open carry in urban environments.

    I agree with Emily Miller, a well respected journalist and pro-second-amendment author, when she wrote:

    “I often go to Starbucks to relax, read, write and make full use of the store for my $4 latte. While I’m a gun owner and comfortable with firearms, if a bunch of men walked into the shop openly carrying rifles, I would either duck under the table or run for the door. There is no way for me to know immediately whether they are law-abiding persons exercising their Second Amendment rights or would-be mass murderers.”

  40. While I support open carry of a handgun (though I prefer Concealed Carry) I believe those openly carrying long guns into any establishment other than a shooting range or adjacent shop, are foolish attention hounds that will ultimately ruin it for all of us. This is not yet some 3rd world shit whole and too many people like to pretend we are a civilized nation still. Use some common sense people. If there is a bad guy on site, your long weapon just makes you the first target.

  41. We should ask the dead and the patrons of the mall in Kenya if rifles, guns and other small arms should be carried (openly or concealed)in a retail establishment. Many lives could have been saved if people had the ability to protect themselves in this situation. “It can never happen here.” is the wrong mind set for the U.S.

  42. I’m not an open carry guy. I’ll legally conceal all day, and no one being the wiser. Meaning my wife and I are the only ones that know. People have the right to not like guns, as I have the right to have them.

    I don’t like making people uncomfortable, and I don’t want to be shot if Luney Toons sees my weapon, he is there to rob and deems me a threat.

    It’s the Embassy Suites in San Antonio with the big sign of a gun with a circled line that’s offensive to me. I won’t stay there again.

  43. At first, I got a little upset with Starbucks over this, but as I have had time to think about it, I’ve calmed down. I have been carrying a licensed concealed weapon for over 40 years, it is my right. It does not bother me to think about others carrying concealed weapons around me. I do get a little nervous when I see someone with an AR-15, AK-47, or even a shotgun walking down the street. I pay a little more attention to that person. A holstered firearm on the hip is subtle, it’s fine,but a rifle makes me pay attention, it is just a little in your face.

    Mr. Schultz owns a piece of property, it is his right to call it as he sees it, on his property. We as gun owners, can take the higher ground as stated by Marcus above.

    As for me, I will take my concealed carry into Starbucks for my “skinny vanilla latte” daily, but not my AR and No One will be uncomfortable.

  44. I don’t drink coffee (It tastes like burned beans.), so I don’t frequent Starbucks. Also, I am an outspoken Second Amendment Advocate with an Instructor-certified concealed carry permit. AS such, I do not see the benefit of openly carrying a firearm and making other citizens uncomfortable. Some of the people I now see openly carrying weapons make me nervous, too. Carrying concealed offers the advantage of surprise and I want every advantage I can possibly gain during a confrontation.

  45. This is sad to hear but unless they go as far as to post ‘no gun’ signs then I will continue to conceal my firearms in their stores. Starbucks keeps me awake on my 72-hour days. I couldn’t survive without it. I agree with him that people should be able to be relaxed in their stores. It’s sad that gun rights advocates have (until this point) marked Starbucks as a safe place to display their weapons. I am as pro-gun as anyone but seeing a small army of people carrying large (or small) arms doesn’t help my dark roast go down any easier.

  46. First off, I can’t justify the price of their coffee. I can scoop mud in a cup and add hot water and it would still taste better. But honestly, responsible ccw holders should not be punished for wanting to protect themselves if need be.
    ” I carry a gun because a cop if too heavy to carry.”

  47. CEO Howard Schultz has a right to make the proper rules for his company. As a 2nd amendment advocate (lost my pistol permit in NY, no NRA help) I believe that we have a right to carry arms to protect ourselves, but Schultz has a business to run and doesn’t need the added problems from the Left boycotting him. I will continue to go to STARBUCKS, hot looking girl pouring the coffee, MMMMMM!
    The Coffee is okay at Starbucks but we prefer Stewarts in Saratoga, NY.

  48. I like Starbucks coffee, but their “request” that I give up one of my rights for the privilege of paying $4.00 for a cup of coffee will keep me away.

  49. Being and avowed 2nd amendment advocate, I do feel that Mr. Schultz is between a rock and a hard place. He could have easily gone over to an extreme anti-gun stance.

    I myself don’t drink coffee and actually dislike it, and I think Starbucks, as most coffee shops, are way overpriced. Yet, I do hear that Starbucks treats its employees well. Any employer who treats its employees well deserves respect. God only knows the many who do not deserve such respect.

    We, as people who cherish the constitution and 2nd amendment, should take the high road and perhaps cut Mr. Schultz a little (just a little) slack.

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