Effective September 17, 2013 – BOYCOTT STARBUCKS!
Starbucks bans guns…then says they won’t enforce the ban. Whatever, Schultz. We’re not stupid and we both know what this reversal in policy means. After years of standing by the rights on gun owners, today Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has sided with the anti-gun political movement and asked us not to bring our firearms to Starbucks any more. He can’t have his cake and eat it too. He knows what his action means. He is “asking” us not to come to Starbucks armed. We won’t. We won’t come at all. The price of caving to the anti-gun lobby is the revenue you used to generate from our business. You do the math.
An Open Letter from Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Posted by Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer
Dear Fellow Americans,
Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.
From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life.
We appreciate that there is a highly sensitive balance of rights and responsibilities surrounding America’s gun laws, and we recognize the deep passion for and against the “open carry” laws adopted by many states. (In the United States, “open carry” is the term used for openly carrying a firearm in public.) For years we have listened carefully to input from our customers, partners, community leaders and voices on both sides of this complicated, highly charged issue.
Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.
Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. 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.
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.
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 am proud of our country and our heritage of civil discourse and debate. It is in this spirit that we make today’s request. Whatever your view, I encourage you to be responsible and respectful of each other as citizens and neighbors.
Here’s a document describing how employees should respond to this new policy.
Here’s a note from an employee to Starbucks, sent to us moments ago on our Facebook page.
Below is local Washington DC news coverage of the story on the day it broke. The men being interview are friends of ours from the Virginia Citizens Defense League. The CEO has said he doesn’t want guns in his stores, and we will respect that and will buy our coffee elsewhere.
A bit of commentary here. It’s almost surreal that is has come to this. One must reflect back on the last couple of years and wonder what has happened. Is it possible that the overly ambitious open carry of rifles caused too much of an uproar for Starbucks to remain neutral? Probably. We may have forced Starbucks hand by pushing the limit of their patience. Perhaps we played right into the hands of the anti-gunners and gave them too much ammunition. It seems logical that if we handle the issue the same way with other neutral businesses, it will end in the same result.
This might be the inevitable result of alienating those who had not yet made up their minds about gun rights. Maybe we should stick to open carry of handguns, and leave the rifles at home? Maybe we should try not to make such a big scene when we carry firearms at a private business, so as to force them to engage in the political battle because we have effectively turned their business into a political battlefield? Remember, part of this fight includes winning the hearts and minds of those not engaged on either side.
We don’t have all of the answers and we are not trying to assign blame for this about-face by Starbucks, but we would like to ask those of you who like to carry your ARs and M1As around town to think about what good is coming from it, and what possible damage is being done to our cause.
We lost one today, and this is a huge loss. Now, we need to dust ourselves off and get back in the fight to defend our rights.
Additional commentary/opinion can be found on our blog; http://www.2acheck.com/starbucks-youve-worn-out-your-welcome/
~Peter, Founder – Second Amendment Check
Contact Starbucks and let them know they won’t have to worry about you coming to their store any more.
Starbucks Customer Relations
PO Box 3717
Seattle, WA 98124-3717
Mon – Fri 5 AM – 8 PM (PST)
Sat 6 AM – 4 PM (PST)