Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Starbucks outlines gun policy amid fracas

March 3, 2010

starbucks33Last month, we wrote a blog about a controversy over Starbucks decision not to ban guns in its cafes.

The fracas started when groups of pistol-packing, open-carry gun rights activists exercised their rights by visiting Northern California restaurants and cafes. Their actions prompted companies like Peet’s Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen to prohibit firearms in their outlets. But Starbucks, even when pressed by the influential Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, has declined to follow suit — a position that has been lauded by gun rights supporters and condemned by people who only want to see the police and military packing heat at Starbucks.

The controversy refuses to go away and Starbucks released a new statement on the issue:

“We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions. While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged.

We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve. In this case, 43 of the 50 U.S. states have open carry weapon laws. Where these laws don`t exist, we comply with laws that prohibit the open carrying of weapons. The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.

At the same time, we have a security protocol for any threatening situation that might occur in our stores. Partners are trained to call law enforcement as situations arise. We will continuously review our procedures to ensure the highest safety guidelines are in place and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement.

We have examined this issue through the lens of partner (employee) and customer safety. Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position.

As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue. As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society.

Our Starbucks family knows all too well the dangers that exist when guns are used irresponsibly and illegally. Without minimizing this unfortunate reality, we believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers.”

Comments

DId they just refer to the underpaid people who pour overpriced coffee at Starbucks as “partners”?

Annie, get your gun.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive
 

Can’t let you do that, Starbucks!

Posted by Anon86 | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
  •