For years, Starbucks has been stuck in the middle of the debate over whether businesses should let customers bring guns into stores in states and municipalities where it is legal to openly carry a firearm. CEO Howard Schultz had previously called it a “difficult, fragile” situation but said the company was not going to change its longstanding policy of following whatever the local laws allowed. Then last night, he issued an open letter to customers, asking them to please leave their guns at home. [More]
An Arizona man (not Consumerist’s Phil Villareal, in case you were wondering) is under arrest after he discharged a handgun at his local Walmart. And no, he wasn’t robbing the place; he was just nervously fidgeting with his firearm.
If you’d asked us a while back what company would find itself at the center of a power struggle between anti-gun activists and gun-rights supporters, we probably would not have guessed caffeine powerhouse Starbucks. But as the news that the ‘Bucks is okay with customers carrying guns into their stores where it’s permitted by law, there’s been a backlash by those now asking the company to rethink its policy.
In states like Virginia where it’s legal for gun owners to walk around in public displaying their heat, there are some firearms fans who go out to stores they assume will be unfriendly about their gun-toting ways. But, in spite of its left-leaning reputation, coffee colossus Starbucks has instituted a policy saying guns are A-OK with them.