The major coffee chain Starbucks has been celebrated for years by law abiding Second Amendment supporters for their hands off policy when it comes to guns. Each year, responsible gun owners celebrate the coffee chain with a national Starbucks Gun Appreciation Day.
Starbucks allows customers to carry firearms into their stores so long as state and local firearms laws are obeyed. For example, in states where concealed or open carry is allowed, it's allowed in Starbucks.
But now, although Starbucks isn't reversing their policy, (meaning they will still respect firearms laws and a person's right to carry) the chain's CEO is saying guns are unwelcome but not banned.
Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms.
The fine line that the retailer is walking to address the concerns of both gun rights and gun control advocates reflects how heated the issue has become, particularly in light of recent mass shootings.
Starbucks has become a target for gun control advocates, in part because of its liberal-leaning corporate image. In turn, gun rights advocates have been galvanized by the company's decision to defer to local laws.
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 which gun rights advocates turned up at Starbucks cafes with firearms.
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.
Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? No.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography