Gun owners react to Starbucks request to leave weapons at home

Gun owners expressed their disappointment on the Starbucks Facebook page.  Credit: Facebook
Gun owners expressed their disappointment on Starbucks’ Facebook page.
Credit: Facebook

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made waves after he posted an open letter asking customers to keep their guns out of Starbucks stores on the company blog. He wrote yesterday, “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.”

Schultz stressed that this is a request and not a ban. Customers who still choose to openly carry their guns will not be asked to leave the store. He did continue to say that he did not believe stores were an appropriate venue for carrying guns: “The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.” He told the New York Times, “Guns should not be part of the Starbucks experience, especially when small kids are around.”

Though the decision comes on the heels of the Navy Yard shooting, Starbucks told the New York Times that the open letter was not a response to the tragedy. “I want to make it very clear that Starbucks is not a policymaker and as a company we are not pro- or anti-gun,” Schultz told the Times.

Starbucks’ previous policy was to permit carrying guns in states where open carry laws exist, and to prohibit it where there were no such laws. Starbucks has been caught in the middle of the national gun debate. Organizations like the National Gun Victims Action Council called for a boycott against Starbucks for allowing open carry in its stores, asking the store to join Disney, IKEA, California Pizza Kitchen and Peet’s Coffee in banning guns. At the same time, gun owners heralded Starbucks and staged events like Starbucks Appreciation Day in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza shot and killed 28 people in 2012.

Gun owners on Facebook reacted with disappointment to the news. Facebook user Brian Crook wrote, “You’ve just advertised that your establishments are a gun free zone. Criminals are on Facebook too. It’ll only be a matter of time before one of your poor employees becomes a victim of your ignorant decisions. In the meantime I’ll be taking my gun and my business elsewhere.” Many other users wrote that they would not be patronizing Starbucks anymore.

In contrast, gun rights advocacy groups have expressed nonchalance to the letter. Dave Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com and communications director for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, said he believes the new policy is simply a business decision. “They’re not pro-gun or anti-gun — they’re businesspeople and they sell coffee,” he said. “Nothing has really changed that much. They’re not going to throw people out or ask people to leave. As long as people behave themselves, they’re going to leave them alone.”

Eric Pratt, communications director of Gun Owners of America, said that his organization understands that Starbucks wanted to distance itself from the political issue. “We realize they’re under pressure and they have not stopped telling people to keep firearms,” he said. “If it’s an issue of the sight of a gun being offensive, then just conceal carry your firearm.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…