Starbucks: You Can Bring Your Guns, But Please Don't

CEO 'respectfully requests' customers stop promoting stores as pro-gun

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 18, 2013 9:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – With another mass shooting about to inevitably shove gun control back into the national conversation, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is begging you: Please, leave Starbucks out of it. "I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores," Schultz writes in an open letter published in several newspapers, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Starbucks, he complains, has "been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate."

But Schultz stops short of actually banning guns, in part because he doesn't want to ask employees to "confront armed customers." He tells CNN that Starbucks is "not pro- or anti-gun," but believes that guns "should not be part of the Starbucks experience." The move isn't a direct response to the Navy Yard shooting, he tells Reuters, adding that he's "not worried we're going to lose customers over this."

In this March 3, 2010 file photo, Greg Dement, left, is handed a Starbucks coffee drink as he sits with a handgun strapped to his belt while looking on at an anti-gun rally in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)
A Brady Campaign activist hands out fliers explaining Starbucks' policy allowing guns in the coffee shops, before the start of the company's annual shareholders meeting, March 24, 2010, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A gun-toting man kisses his daughter Elicia, 15 months, while holding a Starbucks coffee drink and with a handgun strapped to his belt while looking on at an anti-gun rally in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)
Starbucks' corporate headquarters is seen in this Jan. 26, 2009 file photo taken, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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