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Anti-gun group wants Starbucks to prohibit customers from openly carrying guns in its California stores

An anti-gun group has launched an effort to urge Starbucks to prohibit customers from openly carrying guns in its California coffee shops.

The move comes in response to what officials with the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said are recent brazen displays of handguns by gun enthusiasts at several California stores, which have frightened some customers and alarmed law enforcement officials.

“We think Starbucks should adopt a national policy not to allow guns to be openly carried at its stores,” said Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign. “There have been a number of meetings of 'open carry' advocates at Starbucks.”

He said gun enthusiasts were intentionally targeting Starbucks coffee shops for their meetings and openly carrying their weapons strapped to their hips.

 "People tend to be unnerved by it,” Hamm said. “It makes them uncomfortable to see a group of men come into stores carrying firearms.”

In response to the gatherings, companies such as Peet's Coffee & Tea and California Pizza Kitchen have prohibited customers from openly carrying guns in their stores, Hamm said.

The Brady Campaign is encouraging Starbucks to follow suit and sent a letter Friday to the coffee giant's chairman and CEO, Howard Schultz, “asking him to change their policy,” Hamm said.

Representatives from Starbucks could not immediately be reached for comment.

-- Ann M. Simmons

Comments () | Archives (64)

I do not own a gun, never fired one. I am happy to see 'open carry', because I know these are citizens that are permitted. The scary ones are the guys with the hoodies up so you can't see their faces, and one or both hands in the marsupial pocket; they have a gun, or a pretending to have a gun, and enjoying intimidating those around them. The 'open carry' citizens are the ones you want to be around when bad things happen; they are not the ones who start the bad things.

I would walk out immediately if I saw some nut carrying a gun into a restaurant. Any restaurant that would allow that to happen would never, ever get my business. And no, I would not stop to pay for my meal on my way out the door. Sorry, but life is too precious to tolerate people who carry lethal weapons into coffee stores.

I welcome the initial shock that comes to people when they see someone lawfully open-carrying a firearm. It's the beginning of a process that I hope will culminate with the public learning that they can, in fact, openly carry a firearm in public, provided it's holstered, and reverting the law to once again deem loaded open-carry lawful (what's the use of an unloaded firearm?) If it's holstered, I have no problem with them.

In the case of Starbucks and business, they are private property and policies regarding firearms should be at the discretion of the owner and/or manager. If I don't like their policy, I'll take my business somewhere else, simple as that.

The moment I see someone reach for their holster, I'll reach for mine. :-)

In California, carrying a handgun on your person in an exposed manner is only allowed for peace officers. Anyone else carrying a weapon in public must have a concealed weapon permit, and (no surprise) the weapon must be concealed. The law for open carry varies from state to state. In Texas carrying is legal except within 200 feet of a place that alcoholic beverages are sold.

This is the USof A so of course the laws are all over the map!

Open carry sends a double message. Some of us are self-appointed vigilantes who decide instantly who lives and who dies. Then there are the trigger-happy police officers who will be defended by the taxpayers. Where is the Constitution in all of this?


Here's an idea: mind your own business. They're obviously not bothering the fine folks at Starbucks and if YOU seem to be bothered by them, go to Peet's!
Otherwise, shut your pie hole.

The safest coffee shop in the world is one in which multiple citizens are openly carrying firearms. What are the chances of getting mugged there? Nil. An armed society is a polite society. It's not the guns. It's the scumbags. Scumbags are far less bold with armed citizens staring back at them. God created man. Smith & Wesson made men equal.

Bet those guys get their lattes pretty fast!

Why is it so hard for those "unnerved" by the mere sight of a firearm unable to recognize the clear deterrent that same sight provides? Which is more offensive, seeing a law abiding citizen with a firearm on their hip sipping coffee, or a violent criminal suddenly brandishing a concealed firearm and using it against the coffee shop patrons? I'll bet my annual salary that that particular Starbucks never get's robbed as long as those firearm carrying patrons are present...

That sure would make for an interesting lawsuit. The "Open Carry" groups are not breaking the law, or they would be arrested.

And of course, there is that pesky 2nd Amendment (A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed).

So if Starbucks bans the presence of law abiding citizens who are exercising their rights under the Constitution, does that open them to civil liability?

Gee, I wonder if any crimes occurred during the visits?
Betcha not!

Asking a store to post a sign stating being Gun Free is like a home owner posting a sign in their front lawn with the same proclamation.

It's all part of a campaign by the Right to frighten and intimidate the Left, and for some, to provoke violent confrontation. If anybody thinks "it can't happen here", i.e., a new Civil War, you're naive. Tim McVeigh was just the first. These crazy Right Wingers, hysterical with fear that Obama is a "Socialist" (most of 'em don't even know what Socialism is), and that he and the Left are "destroying America" , are increasingly parading around with guns. Guess what the inevitable next step is...

Smile when you say, "Frappachino Mocha Latte Vente," partner.

I'm glad to see Starbucks ignoring the ranting of that Brady Campaign to Disarm Law-Abiding Firearm Owners.

Last time I checked we still have our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. Give me back my right to protect myself and my family.

I just want to congratulate and thank Starbucks for staying above the fray with regard to the anti-second amendment zealots that have taken it upon themselves to tell everyone, including your fine company, how to conduct business.

A formerly loyal Peet's fan, I will not be patronizing Peet's any longer due to their disregard for constitutional rights and failure to respect local firearms law.

As you may know, popular respect and acquiescence to second amendment is growing in leaps and bounds in recent years, and the Supreme Court is widely expected to apply '2A' protection to local governments in the current term. In some states, even the ACLU is now falling on the side of '2A' protection. Thanks again, Starbucks for showing such backbone. Your judgment and discretion are entirely too rare in the business community. And, you make a helluva cup. Thanks again.

"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
-Thomas Jefferson

"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
-Thomas Jefferson

"The said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."
-Samuel Adams

People should understand that open carry is legal and the folks who do carry handguns openly are not the ones to be afraid of. No criminal in their right mind is going to openly carry a handgun, they are going to put it in their waistband or shove it into a pocket and hide it from the world. People who carry open are asking the police to talk to them and at the same time telling the no-gooders to behave. There is no reason to be afraid of a holstered weapon, guns do not go off by themselves

This is a ludicrous, misguided attempt by the Brady Campaign to ram their unAmerican political agenda down the throats of law abiding citizens exercising their civil rights. Open carriers are no threat to anyone. In fact they may be in a position to help the victim of a crime or make a citizens arrest of someone who needs to be locked up, but might otherwise escape. I'm not an advocate of vigilante justice but it is a known fact that there are simply not enough police officers on our streets. Americans need to be able to protect themselves, or deter crime by showing the fact that they are armed. That was known even at the time when the 2nd amendment was written. I for one agree with the concept that a civil right unexercised is a right soon to be lost. I understand the misplaced/misguided concern of certain law enforcement groups, but that to me is also unAmerican. Are these cops Americans or what? Do they think that it is only their privledge to carry a gun. I believe that if everyone open carried guns, the crime rate would drop. Officers should not even waste their time (and public resources) performing open carry "checks" to see if firearms are unloaded.

Why don't they just prohibit free speech while they are at it?

I have observed that no individual who advocates an imposition of a policy prohibiting the entirely legal activity of openly carrying a firearm while in a Starbucks location has provided any rational justification for such a policy. I have anticipated such a lack of explanation, however, as it is consistent with my observation that civilian disarmament advocates are frequently irrational.

50 years ago four African Americans went into a diner and asked for service and were refused because they were different and deemed dangerous. People thought it was ok to ban a certain type of person because they were afraid of them. Sound similar to today's "issue"?

Get over your hoplophobia. Why would criminals open carry?

6000 prisoners released on the Willie Horton release proram, be grateful the gun group will protect you.

Whenever someone else makes me feel "unnerved" or "uncomfortable" my first step is to strip them of their constitutional rights. Makes total sense.

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