After Starbucks comes out against guns, Moms Demand Action targets Staples

| October 8, 2013

In an open letter addressed to fellow Americans, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has politely requested that customers refrain from bringing firearms into the coffee giant’s stores after encouragement from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. Although it is clear that Starbucks has not entirely banned guns from its outlets, the “request” holds true even for states where open carry laws allow people to carry guns in public.

Schultz explains the reason behind the move in the open letter, stating, “Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called ‘Starbucks Appreciation Days’ that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of  ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.”

moms demand action

As a ban on firearms has not been imposed yet, Starbucks customers can still carry guns in stores in 43 states where state law permits. From teamstickergiant.

Recently, Starbucks closed down a store in Newtown, Connecticut after learning that gun rights advocates planned to hold a “Starbucks Appreciation Day” at the location. The store was located near Sandy Hook, the elementary school that witnessed a gruesome shootout in 2012.

“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,” Schultz said. He has, however, clarified that this is merely an appeal and not an outright ban as lawmakers, and not the stores should enforce the policy.

This stance has drawn fire from the media. As MSN reports, “When other businesses have abandoned that approach in favor of straight-up bans, it’s difficult to sympathize with Starbucks’ newly frothy coffeehouse critics.”

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, the organization that campaigned for the reform in Starbucks’ policy, says “More than 30 states allow citizens to legally buy and carry loaded weapons with no screening or training. There is no guarantee that even a well-meaning individual knows how to properly carry and handle a gun.” Moms Demand Action has been organizing Skip Starbucks Saturdays to pressure the coffee company to ban guns at its stores.

Victorious, after a two-month-long crusade, these gun control advocates have now moved on to the mega office-supply store, Staples. A month ago, a woman accidentally shot herself in the hand in the chain’s Wake Forest store in North Carolina.

Several top companies already have a no guns policy in place – America’s supermarket chain, Whole Foods, has been implementing a ban from as early as 2001. Huffington Post has listed out eight such corporations, including Starbucks competitor Peet’s Coffee and Tea.


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