Starbucks is asking its customers to stop bringing firearms into their outlets. Gun nuts in “open carry” states have been staging parties in their stores and selling t-shirts with the logo seen here.
In an interview, CEO Howard Schultz said the decision to ask customers to stop bringing guns into stores came as a result of the growing frequency of “Starbucks Appreciation Days” in recent months, in which gun rights advocates turn up at Starbucks cafes with firearms. Last month, for example, the company closed down a store in Newtown, Conn., for the day after learning that gun rights advocates planned to hold a “Starbucks Appreciation Day” at the location. The store was near the school where a gunman killed 20 children and six women. Schultz said the events mischaracterized the company’s stance on the issue and the demonstrations “have made our customers uncomfortable.” Schultz hopes people will honor the request not to bring in guns but says the company will nevertheless serve those who do. “We will not ask you to leave,” he said.
The company will publish full-page ads in major newspapers tomorrow to publicize their request.