Decaff grande cappuccino, half-fat, no whip, extra shot... oh, and no gun: Starbucks announces firearms are no longer welcome at its 7,000 US coffee shops
The company made its decision before the shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington DC earlier this week, which left 13 people dead
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Wednesday 18 September 2013
It’s your Glock or your grande soy latte. After being dragged reluctantly into the debate over gun legislation, Starbucks has announced that firearms will no longer be welcome at its 7,000 US coffee shops. Several national retail and restaurant chains do not allow guns on their premises, but until now Starbucks has chosen to defer to local firearms regulations, allowing guns in outlets in those US states with an “open carry” law.
As the fight over gun control has escalated, the coffee giant – which traditionally adopts a progressive posture on social issues – has found itself an unwilling focus for protest. In July, some 60 people toting firearms held an event at a branch in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Last month, gun rights advocates called a national “Starbucks Appreciation Day”, wearing their weapons to Starbucks outlets across the US to celebrate the firm’s supposed Second Amendment stance.
When gun lovers gathered at a Starbucks in Newtown, Connecticut – where 26 people including 20 children were killed in a mass shooting at an elementary school in December 2012 – staff closed the branch early before the event could get underway. Meanwhile, the anti-gun lobby group Moms Demand Action has organised a series of “Skip Starbucks Saturdays”, designed to shame the chain into banning firearms.
In an open letter published on the firm’s website on Tuesday and addressed to “Fellow Americans”, Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said events such as Starbucks Appreciation Day “disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of ‘open carry.’ To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores”
Mr Schultz has not gone so far as to issue a full ban on firearms in Starbucks stores, saying he did not want staff to be forced to confront armed customers. Instead, he wrote, he was making “a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.”
The change in policy will also be announced with full-page advertisements in editions of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today.
Mr Schultz said that the company had made its decision about firearms before the shootings at the Navy Yard in Washington DC earlier this week, which left 13 people dead.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are working with this secondary s...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: We are working with a school that needs a t...