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.
Some gun-control advocates are cheering this as a victory. Many pro-Second Amendment folks are condemning Starbucks and vowing to withdraw their patronage.
Most importantly, I appreciate this part of the letter:
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.
I appreciate that they are making a request of me, not publishing an edict. The letter treats me with respect, and so with respect I shall treat them. Starbucks has long made there policy a simple one- compliance with state and local laws. And in effect, it still is that. They’re just asking to not be made the centerpiece of a political struggle they didn’t ask to participate in.
I like Starbucks. I love a frosty Venti Mocha Frappachino on a hot summer day, and I enjoy sitting in their cool, comfortable stores enjoying free wifi and chatting with passersby and some of the regulars. So I’ll continue my occasional patronage of them.