Leah Barkoukis

Up until this week, Starbucks had been neutral when it came to its gun policy, which meant that the coffee giant respected local laws regarding firearms. This policy was widely respected among gun-rights advocates—a Starbucks Appreciation Day has even been organized at stores throughout the country for the past few years—but it also drew the ire of anti-gun groups and lawmakers who have been pressuring Starbucks to change its ways. Although the coffee chain didn’t reverse its policy toward guns, on Wednesday the CEO issued a statement essentially saying firearms are unwelcome (but not banned). Even though this wasn't surprising, it was still a big disappointment for Second Amendment advocates who felt the coffee giant was moving closer to the anti-gun side of the contentious debate.

Enter: McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. After the Starbucks CEO caused quite the stir this week with his statement, Business Insider decided to ask some of Starbucks’ competitors what their gun policies are. Turns out, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts are gun neutral.

Here's a statement from McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb:

“We recognize that there is a lot of emotion and passion surrounding the issue of firearms and open carry weapons laws.

While we respect the differing views of all our customers, McDonald’s company-owned restaurants follow local, state and federal laws as it relates to open carry weapons in our restaurants.

For franchisee-owned restaurants, operational decisions regarding open carry weapon laws are made by the independent franchisee.

That said, as with all aspects of operating a McDonald’s restaurant, we expect our franchisees and their crew to follow local, state and federal laws.”

And Dunkin' Donuts spokeswoman Michelle King:

"Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants are owned and operated by individual franchisees who are required to follow all federal, state and local laws with regard to firearms."

Up until this week, gun owners celebrated Starbucks’ neutral gun policy, and increasingly came to use the coffee shops as gathering places. Now it looks like they’ll be frequenting Starbucks’ competitors a bit more often.

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Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis is the Managing Editor at Townhall Magazine.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography