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Our friend at, John Boch, has just posted a notice at the org’s site announcing that Starbucks has caved to the shrieking of Shannon Watts and Moms Demand Action and have banned guns in their stores. He’s attached a photo of a notice to their employees, above, (h/t entitled Our Public Request: No Weapons in our Stores.

Reading the notice, however, it appears that Starbucks is attempting to split the baby here. While their policy is that guns will not be welcome in their stores, they don’t intend to enforce it. The proof of the pudding, though, will be whether or not they post notices (in accordance with local laws in various states) that would carry the force of law.

Reading between the lines, it doesn’t sound like that’s the intent. Still, feathers will be ruffled. We’ll try to contact Starbucks tomorrow for clarification. Watch this space.

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  1. I don’t drink Starbucks coffee anyway. I guess law enforcement officers are no longer allowed in their stores. Stupid rule.

    • This is what you caused. I am all for open carry, but please check yourself every once in awhile and realize our world is not black and white. While we all agree that the 2nd amendment is clear as day, we have to pick our moments. Subtlety can be used once in a freaking while. Thanks for your “help.”

      • “While we all agree that the 2nd amendment is clear as day, we have to pick our moments.”

        Well, if it is clear as day, we DON’T need to pick our moments. If we must, it is about as clear as mud.

      • Private business can do as they like. I am against OPEN carry because it is dumb dumb dumb, at least in the context of walking around public retail businesses. Most are people baiting cops to video for youtube. Waste of time and dumb dumb dumb. As far as the 2nd amendment, right for people to bare arms… YES! However all the other stuff about militia is not so clear, like the 3rd Amend with quartering soldiers. My point is, this is not 1776, and we are not civilian militia fighting the red coats with flint locks…. I guarantee they did not carry their guns around as an extension of their big ego and small……. If Starbucks wants to ban guns from stores, fine, this is AMERICA, be consistent and not hypocritical. STOP WHINNING….. I don’t live my life for guns and to look for every chance to be offended. I bet 99% of you all don’t go to Starbucks anyway, so don’t go….. you never were a customer.

    • Considering that your previous gun stunts are what got your license to carry a handgun revoked in the first place, you are the last person who should be mouthing off about what other peoples intentions are/were. No matter what the topic is, it’s always about you. Contrary to what you might believe, you were not, I repeat, NOT elected to speak on our behalf, and your conceited assumption that you were is offensive. Further more, your childish implication that private property owners have no rights to set gun policies on their property, shows a callous, and selfish disregard for the rights of others to determine how they conduct their business, on their private property. Shocking as this is, the world does not revolve around you.

      • I strongly support Starbucks’ right to decide their own policy regarding weapons in their stores.

        However, if they cave to this silly Bloomberg-funded astroturf group lead by a PR exec masquerading as Suzie homemaker, I will exercise my right to buy coffee elsewhere. That’s even true if their cave-in is largely symbolic (i.e., no signs and no enforcement).

        Shame, I do like their coffee, but they aren’t the only ones that make a decent cup.


          “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.”

          In other words, Starbucks simply does not want to become the battleground venue for any group that wants to foist their views on other customers who may be made uncomfortable by such activity. It is a perfectly reasonable BUSINESS decision designed to best serve Starbucks customer base as a whole. His message indicates intent to permit gun owners to conceal carry and open carry where it is ORDINARY and CUSTOMARY for people to do so and is supported by law. He just wants political demonstrations done for the purpose of proclaiming those gun rights be conducted off Starbucks premises.

          Let’s not become our own enemy!

          • “His message indicates intent to permit gun owners to conceal carry and open carry where it is ORDINARY and CUSTOMARY for people to do so and is supported by law.


            To clarify the memo states,” We are respectfully requesting customers not bring weapons into our stores.”

        • @ Embody;

          You’re acting like an anti gun fanatic, cherry picking parts out of the whole to support the message YOU want to broadcast but not necessarily the truth of the entire message.

    • You open carry fools went overboard and this is what you got. Just like in CA, your tactics don’t work – they never have. There, you got your attention and it was a negative response from 80% of gun owners and Starbucks.

      • Open carriers are playing chess. In time, open carry will be declared the right. Why? Because historically rifles were carried as a fundamental right, and rifles are not usually concealed.

        • I want open carry to be the law in all 50 states. The RKBA = open carry, period.

          That having been said, Open carry has a time and a place. Those generally include civil disturbances/unrest, natural disasters, etc. They generally don’t include Starbucks, the grocery store and going to GameStop to grab the latest installment of “Call of Duty.”

          I wish we lived in a world where weak-minded, Starbucks-drinking soccer moms couldn’t provide the genesis for anti-gun legislation and/or stupid corporate policies. We do. I don’t like it and you don’t like it… but we do. That is the reality of our situation. Here are a few more:

          1) Open Carry doesn’t accomplish a single thing that concealed carry can’t do better, barring ridiculous hypotheticals about draw speed.

          2) Open carry advocacy at Starbucks and other locales consistently pushes people away from supporting the RKBA. As such, open carry activists are torpedoing the cause just as they did in CA. It makes the people who are on the fence uncomfortable. I know I know, you’re going to tell me that you don’t give a sh*t about their discomfort. After all, it’s your right and if they are uncomfortable that’s their problem. If you don’t open carry, then the RKBA will never be normalized. I actually agree with you in principle. The problem is…

          3) A few in-your-face, type-A open carriers aren’t “normalizing” sh*t. Trust me, I wish you were but all you’re doing is turning people off. Is it completely within your rights? Sure is. Does it make you a douche bag? Sure does. Simply because you CAN do a thing does not mean that you SHOULD.

          So I’d like to extend a big hearty “thanks” to open carry activists for f*cking us all in the *ss yet again. Your douchebaggery will continue to erode open carry rights across the nation. In time, there will be no open carry left for the rest of us who would actually use it in times of need. You stay classy.

        • Open carry because it deters: until you run into the right kind of crazy person who thinks it will be fun to disarm you. When is the last time you practiced active retention drills?

          Open carry because it is a fundamental right: You are absolutely correct. My right to free speech is also a fundamental right. If I were to stand up in a Starbucks and begin shouting racial slurs, it would make people very uncomfortable. While such behavior would be wholly within my rights, my lack of consideration for others would make me a narcissistic *sshole. See how that works?

          Open carry because of your choice of clothing: kind of thin argument, no pun intended. I’ll keep you in mind the next time I wear a spandex jump suit.

          You can continue to drone on about open carrying because it is a fundamental right. I agree with you. It’ll just be a shame when you lose that right for all of us. Thanks in advance.

          • “Open carry because it deters: until you run into the right kind of crazy person who thinks it will be fun to disarm you.”

            You are right. The only time I have been disarmed is by pigs at gunpoint. They laughed and thought it was fun.

        • Leo, you are an example of what happens to open carry people. Granted in your case open carry involved revolvers and Radnor Lake and shrouded/concealed/silhouetted homemade riflecase in Downtown Nashville with a liberal dose of smartassedness at the local cops.

          Yeah, how’s that court case panning out?

        • You Open Carry Buffoons do a great deal of damage to the RKBA of the rest of Gun Owners who have more brains and common sense than to Open Carry. You deliberately alienate people just to make a point.

          Open Carry Buffoons are the worst advertisement for Gun Ownership possible.

          • Yet, the Illinois Supreme Court declared the ban on carry illegal because a man open carried. Most States have open carry laws. It is a small minority of states which do not allow open carry. Why? Its because open carry is the right.

        • “You are right. The only time I have been disarmed is by pigs at gunpoint. They laughed and thought it was fun.”

          Your unfortunate experience (from which I hope you are acquitted on all charges) does not negate what I am saying.

          Why do we carry guns? I mean… really? We do so for the defense of ourselves and others, right? Even if the statistical likelihood of our ever needing to employ the firearm is small, correct? It is the same reason we employ airbags, seat belts, condoms, hard hats, etc, right?

          Well, why would you deny the same line of reasoning and expose yourself to risk? If you wear a seat belt, and carry a gun, and you don’t golf in a thunderstorm, then why would you expose your firearm to a snatch threat on a day-to-day basis? It doesn’t jive with everything else we do to keep ourselves safe.

          Just as there are statistical bad guys out there, there are statistical crazy people out there. People who will be drawn to a weapon simply by virtue of their battiness.

        • “The only time I have been disarmed is by pigs at gunpoint. They laughed and thought it was fun.”

          I’ve watched a couple of your videos, at least. I don’t recall seeing any laughter or indication on their part that they thought dealing with you was “fun.” Looked more like a miserable effing chore, to me.

        • “Illinois Supreme Court and the 7th circuit agrees with me. So do the majority of the states. Open carry is the fundamental right.”

          I don’t think this is true. The IL Supreme court struck down an IL law that says that unlawful use of a weapon occurs when someone brings a loaded gun outside their home/private property.

          I don’t think it means anything about “open carry” specifically … just carrying.

        • “What you speak of happens only on rare occasion. I would trade deterrence for being the victim of battery or assault like Zimmerman.”

          And yet DGUs only occur on rare occasions, do they not? Any person, whether a concealed carrier, open carrier, or non-carrier is vulnerable to situations where DGUs would occur. The difference is, because of open carry, you have now multiplied your risk to include the specific threat of a snatch. Makes no sense dude.

        • Please stop replying to Leonard Embody. He is a troll and does not know what he is talking about. He is also facing a felony (When is the next court date?) conviction.

      • I prefer to CC because a substantial proportion of Philly cops (where I work) are throbbing hemorrhoids. But if I and many others feel that way, then OC isn’t really a right, is it? I understand the concern about picking battles. But “use it or lose it” is a very compelling argument too.

        Of course, in this particular case, nobody has a right to carry on private property except the owner and those to whom the owner gives permission.

        • “Use it or lose it” hasn’t been working out for us. “Use it and then lose it” seems to reflect the reality.

        • Well, as others point out, it depends how you use it, too. OCing a Glock 19 while going about your business is different from walking up and down the street or standing on a corner with an AK strapped to your back.

        • ‘walking up and down the street or standing on a corner with an AR strapped to your back.’ I would like to know when Leonard’s next court date is so I can be there too and tell him to his face what a dumbass he is afterwards. I’d also like to know when he will try his next public stunt so I can video it and put it on YouTube.

          • Technically all public open carry is in public by definition. It is not s “stunt”, it is the exercise of fundamental civil rights. When/if indicted I’ll post it on my website. When/if there is a court date I’ll post it. I will also post all court recordings and videos. 🙂

        • While I do not open carry I do believe in open carry as a right and would do so except that I really do not have the time or inclination to spend any, much less a large portion, of my day talking to ignorant LEOs responding to ill-informed citizens concerns just so I can make a point.

          True, the Second Amendment does say “…keep and bear arms.” but you really have to admit that in the general course of life in this country a guy (or two or more) walking down the street or sitting at Starbucks with a long gun, especially an AR or AK is very likely to cause consternation amongst the locals. Hell, if I were sitting in Taco Bell or shopping in Walmart and someone came in the door with a rifle slung over their should I would IMMEDIATELY go to condition red until I assessed the situation, and I would be carrying my own protection. How then must unarmed sheeple feel?

          Open carrying a rifle or shotgun in public is practically by definition “causing alarm” and that is its drawback.

          It has been discussed here before, frequently following the “What could possibly go wrong” posts, but I think the best way to “normalize” open carry would be to gradually desensitize the public. Running around with rifles will NOT accomplish this. Open carry of small pistols IWB would be a good first step, along with glutting the market with innocuous everyday items that look like pistols but are not. That t-shirt with the shoulder holster, for instance, although I would prefer one that looked like you had a 1911 tucked in your belt.

          Only when people realize they do not have to be freaked out by everything that looks like a gun and every person who looks like they are carrying a gun will we ever be able to open carry without being constantly harassed by nervous policemen. I would even be willing to carry a pistol surrogate in plain sight while carrying my real Ruger concealed. Scaring ignorant people by flagrantly displaying guns in a public that is not used to that is not doing our cause any favors at this time in the struggle. We need baby steps.

    • Thanks a lot opencarry idiots.

      Please take the hint and don’t keep pushing this. I’m sure there are plenty of people that like to CC in Starbucks

      Ya I know it’s legal, doesn’t mean it’s always the right thing to do everytime.

      • Lot’s of hate from you and others about open carry folks. It takes a lot of guts to openly wear a handgun legally. It’s real easy to sit behind your keyboard and stroke those keys flaming those that actually exercise their 2nd Amendment right instead of hiding your gun under your clothes so you won’t have to deal with anyone who may be offended by it.

        Do you and all you pinheads against open carry really think the anti’s won’t care about you and your concealed handguns? Open carry advocates have done much more for our 2nd Amendment rights than the concealed carry folks. In the past few years four more states have gone to “Constitutional Carry” BECAUSE of open carry people. Can you pinheads say you contributed as much to changing the laws to strengthen our 2nd Amendment rights? No, you cannot. Every time a legal open carrier is harassed, detained or arrested we should rally to their side and support them. Every lawsuit won for gun rights strengthens our right to keep and bear arms.
        And in Wisconsin for example, until November 2011 the ONLY way to exercise your right to keep and bear arms legally was to open carry. So no one in Wisconsin should have ever exercised their 2nd Amendment right until they got their “privilege” card to carry concealed from the state after November 2011? Right?!? WRONG!
        Don’t knock open carry until you try it. It’s pure liberty when you exercise your right to keep and bear arms openly instead of like some concealed carrier hiding in a closet so no one will see him/her and confront them for exercising their rights.

  2. I honestly had never set foot in a starbucks until the flap about them following the law and allowing guns in. Since then I have been a regular for hot chocolate at my local store. Because i live in Alameda County California it’s not legal for me to carry open or concealed. But I brought my business to a company that supported our rights.

    No more.

    • They have supported us for years. Perhaps we should support them for a while. Tell the store managers we miss the open carry, but will still support them. Write the company telling them we feel they should go back to the old policy, but do it nicely. Starbucks business is selling coffee, not gun rights. I think we should cut them a little slack and try to show them we are not ungrateful a$$ holes.

      • Starbucks only got my business in the first place because they chose to follow the law instead of listen to a bunch of rights infringing harpies. Now that they’re caving I should support them?

      • I’m with you. It wasn’t the onesy, twosey normal course of transaction open carry that drove this. Starbucks for a long time simply said- we obey the local laws. Done. Didn’t take sides. Just said we’re selling coffee. Then the open carry “Starbucks Appreciation” didn’t have one or two folks there in the normal course of business — it had groups of folks hanging out. That spurred the reaction resulting in the carefully worded letter from their CEO which comes down to.

        Look dudes, we just wanted to sell coffee and you wanted to make it look like we were advocating gun laws. We want to sell you coffee, we don’t want to criticize your position on gun laws, or your opponents. We want to sell everybody coffee. Please let us by not making this a Starbucks issue.

    • What makes you think your boycott will be any more effective than the MDA boycott?

      If you don’t agree with their policies, by all means stop frequenting their stores. But urging pro-2A people to boycott because of this is not effective. All that the MDA boycott did was give us something to make fun of them for. Let’s not repeat that with our side.

    • Since they are being told to not enforce this rule in the stores I think the appropriate “boycott” response would be to continue carrying in their stores until or unless they are actually posed as gun free and decide to enforce the ban. If for some reason you are requested to leave, by all means leave, but be very vocal about never returning, armed or not. At the point they are posted gun free zones no rational person would want to spend time there at any rate.

      As I posted earlier today elsewhere, I drove by a local Starbucks and had to laugh at the big issue that was being made. They have floor to ceiling plate glass windows and several tables outside. What good is their gun-free zone? Anyone driving or walking buy can still carry, open or concealed, and anyone who was of a mind to shoot the place up is under no limitations as to target choice. Not that someone with that criminal intent would give a flying F about their policy or signs anyway. The ONLY thing that will change is that there will be no one inside the Starbucks to shoot back.

      I hope all you pseudo-intellectual barristas and over-caffeinated soccer moms feel oh so much safer now.

      • Just don’t go there in groups forcing the issue. Go buy your coffee just like anybody else. I think that’s all Starbucks wants to have happen– not groups hanging there advocating for either side.

        • Absolutely! It is pretty clear that the issue with Starbucks is not the guns themselves. They would very much prefer that this issue either didn’t exist or would just go away. Their issue is the groups of open-carry advocates posting themselves in Starbucks stores to make a point and scaring away other customers.

          As the memo says, they are not about overtly enforcing a ban, just politely asking for some self-restraint. Stop with the open carry, already. If you are concealed in a Starbucks there could not possibly be an issue either with their management or with any other customers since, in the immortal words of Anon, “Concealed doesn’t mean hidden, it means INVISIBLE.”

    • Boycott? Why? Starbucks is a for-profit business that was nice enough to keep their nose out of our business until the open carry crowd and the anti-gun crowd turned their coffee shops into a battleground.

      I don’t agree with their decision, but I do understand and respect it.

  3. Wow. They haven’t my envy.

    Customers having to cross a strident picket line staffed by angry grabbers would be bad for business.

    In the end, they will do what they calculate to be least injurious to their bottom line and meets with approval from the greatest number of customers.

    Not even the least little bit envious.

  4. Well, if this is going to be the case, I am going to take my Gold Card out to the range and punch a couple of rounds through it and send it back to them with a letter to tell them I will never buy a coffee, latte, frapachino or anything else from their store. Ever.

    • Might I suggest leaving the punched card out? Sending people objects perforated with gunfire can easily be construed as threatening, and that plays right into the stereotype the gun control crazies want everybody to believe.

      • Dave, you are absolutely right. I saw this story right before I went to bed last night and my initial reaction was a bit of anger as I have now (again) been lumped into a group of people that are not welcome in a place of business if only for strong beliefs in exercising natural rights and self-defense. As I thought about it while I was fading off to sleep, I realized exactly what you posted. I am in the process of writing a letter to Starbucks to let them know they have lost two 15 year customers (my wife carries also) that have legally carried concealed in their various stores 1000’s of times over 10+ years. That we appreciated their “hands off” stance, but I can no longer financially support their business on the basis of principle. But you are right, sending them the card would negate my letter entirely. I

    • No. Go to Starbucks, open carry (if you can), act as if that’s perfectly normal. Just don’t drag groups in there making a bid deal about it. I think that’s what Starbucks is trying to say— they’re asking us to tone it down a bit. Not make it appear they’re taking sides on the issue.

      • I have open carried to Starbucks exactly 2 times since starting to go there 15 years ago. Both were on the way back from the range. It wasn’t an issue (probably because this is AZ and that Starbucks was close to the range). I refuse to allow the policies of others dictate how I carry, just as I refuse to enter establishments with a “no guns” sign on their door. They have every right as private property owners to make those requests, and I have every right to take my well-earned cash elsewhere. They will however get my standard “no guns = no money” card with the letter I send them.

  5. boycott Starbucks, until the first mass shooting in the new gun free zone.

    ETA: how is asking for no weapons in stores NOT taking sides? absurd.

    • Here’s an idea, FWIW: Any ban, voluntary or otherwise, of guns inside Starbucks extends only to the portion of real estate leased by Starbucks. If you really want to make a point (and this is not advice, just a comment) go there in pairs. While one of you goes in to buy coffee the other, with an open carry pistol (please do not bring long guns!) stands nearby to provide cover while you are in the gun free-free fire zone. When you have your coffee, switch roles, then just lean on a pole or the trunk of your car while you drink. Hell, if you’re close enough you could still probably use their free WiFi.

      This of course only applies to people who do not mind spending their coffee drinking time chatting with local law enforcement officers.

    • It wasn’t OC that did this. It was thrusting Starbucks into the middle of a politically decisive issue that they had no intention of being a part of. They unwillingly became a lightning rod for gun rights and explicitly asked firearms owners to tone it down. They didn’t want demonstrations (OC or not), their likeness changed (the Starbucks emblem with ar-15’s), or to be the center of this debate.

      The only thing business owners learn from this whole mess is that it’s easier to outright ban firearms from the get go. No other corporate entity that has done so had drawn this much ire from the gun community.

      • It was a mix of the open carry crowd and the anti-gun crowd. I’ve been waiting for Starbucks to get fed up with all this unwanted attention.

      • This is all part of the PR problem faced by so many large corporations. They want to sell as much of their stuff as they can to as many people as they can. Pissing off any portion of that customer base just hurts the bottom line and that is the only reason they are in business, not to promote some hot button political cause. I think they should take a side, the right side, on this issue and man up, but then I do not own Starbucks stock and no one has called to offer me a seat on their Board of Directors.

        As an example of how corporations are forced by special interest groups to do things they really would prefer not, in the interest of not alienating a portion of their customer base, not too many years ago Starbucks made a major change to their official mermaid logo because a few vocal groups thought it showed too much of her (cartoon) tits! If they caved on that, it’s amazing that it took them so long to cave on this.

  6. It does not have the force of law,all they can do is ask you to leave and conceal carry is state sanctioned and fourth amendment protects you from illegal search.Only law enforcement can legally search you.You can be charged with trespassing if you refuse if discovered.Open carry is the same.You would be obvious and therefor asked to leave.

    • Unless I am mistaken law enforcement cannot search you unless they have probable cause to believe you are committing or about to commit a crime and therefore may legally be detained or arrested. If you are carrying concealed, properly and legally, no one should even know or suspect that you are armed. Where is the LEOs probable cause to conduct a search? Where is Starbuck’s reason to ask you to leave? This all sounds to me like not only a PR move to appease the crazy Moms, but a CYA move by Starbuck’s lawyers who when something goes down can point to their corporate policy that says they are officially opposed to guns in the store.

      Meanwhile I think someone should start keeping accurate statistics as to any nationwide change in robberies and assaults occurring in or near Starbucks locations. Might be an interesting trend line.

  7. I’m no Starbucks (or coffee) drinker, but if this goes from “splitting the baby” to “no carry in Starbucks”, I do believe a coordinated, national boycott is in order. Shannon Watts can’t have nearly as many friends as the NRA/2AF/GSL/GOA members do. And I’m guessing they are not nearly as dedicated to the cause either.

  8. Relax everyone. I live in commifornia I have a ccw license. Im allowed to legally take my gun anywhere i please other than a federal building. “No weapons” signs and “gun free zones” mean nothing legally. As long as your legally licensed and your gun is legal don’t worry about it. In fact drink coffee their with your glocks printing jus to be a dick.

    • Gun free signs have meaning in a lot of states. I know California is crazy, anti-gun, but that does not mean that something acceptable there is acceptable everywhere.

      • As we are all, or at least the majority of us, law abiding and peaceful I think it would be important for anyone who carries concealed to check their local laws regarding the posting of “No Guns” signs. Here in Washington any private business may post their establishment as prohibiting guns. So far as I know it is NOT illegal to carry concealed in that place, especially since they should not know you are carrying unless you are very sloppy about your concealment. If they do discover that your are armed their recourse is to ask you to leave and only if you refuse can you be charged with a crime, a misdemeanor, I believe.

        I just did a quick Interweb search and for some reason cannot find the specific reference in Washington gun law so if anyone has the 411, please post it.

        • I don’t have the time (being at work) to track down the statute, but I can assure you that I’ve seen it: Washington state law preempts local ordinances and says that guns are legal to carry everywhere by default, with only a few specifically named exceptions.

          They can prohibit guns all they want, but it has no legal force in itself.

          That said, businesses still have private property rights. They can ask you to leave if you’re carrying or ask you to leave your weapon behind; if you refuse, then you could be hauled in for trespassing or disturbing the peace. But that’s the extent of it.

    • How about some self-respect? Why would you patronize a business that doesn’t want you there? If they don’t pay a price for this, then other businesses will soon follow.

      • Apparantly, they do want you there since the CEO states that even if you carry they will serve you. It looks like the statement was to placate the anti-guns, calm down the ‘Appreciation Days’, and reinforce Starbucks viewing this as a government issue, not a coffee shop issue. They don’t want to take a side- just sell coffee, the ‘Appreciation Days’ were giving the appearance they were promoting specific laws vice simply respecting the existing laws in each jurisdiction.

    • The laws vary from state to state. In my home state of Michigan the signs do not have force of law, but when I visit family in North Carolina I must be more aware because the signs do have force of law. So as always, know the law where you carry. Don’t THINK you know it. Know it.

  9. Considering they’re between a rock a hard place, this seems to be a pretty decent solution. They’re kind of accomdating both groups somewhat.

    As I read it, you could go In with a concealed weapon and no one would be the wiser. And if someone did see it they aren’t under instructions to kick you out. What am I missing?

      • looking closely at this too. however most 30.06 signs are BIG (letter size requirements) and im not sure even starbucks would waste the window space on one.

        we shall see. i dont go into starbucks often enough to care.

        • I think the letters have to be at least one inch tall, but don’t quote me on that. My current employer has one – they own the building we are in. My last employer leased office space, so while company policy was no guns, the building policy was no Berettas.

      • If they simply post that memo on the door in some states (see CT) they have given notice and is effectively a ban. What this does is give the anti-crowd permission to call the cops and have you arrested even if Starbucks does not.

        For Starbucks, they did not want to be the political hot potato so I understand their decision, but this has unintended results depending on the state.

      • Because there have been shootings of people in starbucks from legal open carry? Oh, wait NONE.

        I love it when people feel safer from actions that haven’t cause any danger whatsoever.

    • Yeah, that’s my understanding too. At least in my home state (Oregon), if someone possesses a firearm on private property and is otherwise carrying legally and in a peaceable manner (i.e. CHL holder), the owner/operator of the private establishment can ask them to leave, and if the individual refuses to leave it’s considered trespass after warning.

      Personally, I plan to avoid Starbucks, since we gun-toting types apparently aren’t welcome there. However, if I absolutely have to go inside, my pistol will remain concealed, just like it always has and always will (except in my home and at the range, of course).

      Concealed means concealed; Discretion is the better part of valor, IMO.

  10. I think they’re carefully walking a fine line, and doing the best they can. They probably wish the whole thing would just go away, because it’s not their fight, but people are putting it on them. Like the thing in the Digest the other day, where Watts said she was going to organize another Starbucks boycott on the same day of that Guns Next Door event, even though Starbucks has jack to do with it. If I was Starbucks, when I heard about that, it totally would have been a “throw up my hands and yell wtf” moment.

    Starbucks was only an occasional stop for me anyway, and this won’t really change anything either way.

    Besides, they just sent me a free drink for my birthday.

    • Yeah, my reading of this is it’s their way of saying “Take your fight elsewhere, guys. We just want to sell overpriced coffee.” I don’t drink coffee, so it means nothing to me either way, but I do think it’s been kind of shitty how both sides of the debate have dragged this company into the fight. It’s not like anything in their business has anything to do with the 2nd Amendment at all.

      • Exactly… they wanted to not get involved in the politics of guns. The strident open carriers kept dragging them into it, and now they’re suffering the backlash.

        Having national rallies at Starbucks (or any company) when the company didn’t want to get involved in the first isn’t the best way to keep them neutral. Remember folks, not everyone “gets it”. And a bunch of people walking around with guns on their hips tends to freak out the folks who don’t “get it”. Customers freaked out for their safety (right or wrong) isn’t good for business.

        I mean, honestly, how did any of these rallies win anyone over to our side? Seriously, some folks can’t simply just leave well enough alone…

        (formerly just Mike H., but apparently there might be more than one)

    • They were succeeding at neutrality before; now they’re failing. Their previous position of following local laws and leaving it at that kept their hands completely out of it. Now, however halfheartedly, they have picked a side. The message here is that guns and gun owners aren’t welcome. They aren’t going to strenuously enforce the policy because they’re afraid a barista is going to get shot, but in their minds, we’re the bad guys.

      I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do, but I’m a lot less positively inclined towards them than I was before this.

    • Excuse me, but while I can understand the corporate mentality of not wanting to offend anyone who might give them money, THIS IS THEIR FIGHT. The same as it is the fight of every American to stand up for our constitutional rights. I’ve been in Starbucks a few times and read the touchy feely propaganda on their cups and elsewhere. I’ve seen their advertising. Do you think they would cave even this far if some group was trying to deny their freedom of speech on the issues they hold dear? The corporation itself would be up in arms and ready to fight. What if some county or state official wanted to look at their books or emails? You bet they wouldn’t get far without a warrant. We can’t just pick and choose the amendments we want to support. It’s an all or nothing proposition and in my book a LITTLE lack of support for the Bill of Rights is the same as NO support for the Bill of Rights.

      They are an American corporation. They will not get another dime from me until they are willing to take a stand in favor of America and the Bill of Rights.

      • A cogent argument, sir. Making the argument in terms of civil rights is always the best course.

        I would add that there are those who become queasy when they see an interracial couple kiss or two guys just holding hands, however Starbucks would never heed Phred Phelps or the KKK.

        Perhaps you should write to Starbucks and tell them what you just told us.

        Perhaps we all should.

      • I think you make an excellent point about framing the issue of firearms rights and ccw as a civil rights argument. However, we should be careful how we frame this in regards to Starbuck’s policy. Certainly, everyone here agrees property rights are protected and property owners should have the right to refuse business and/or tell people to leave if they see fit. We should be clear that we don’t intend to trample on other people’s rights to get our point across.

        • While I strongly believe that we must all stand up for our constitutional rights, even corporate entities, I most certainly understand the exigencies of corporate existence in a diverse population. From that standpoint I think we should be relieved that they did not go from neutral tolerance of guns to outright bigotry against guns.

          So while I will not in all likelihood patronize Starbucks under these conditions, and while I strongly encourage EVERYONE to fight for all of our rights, I do not think that extends to attempting to FORCE anyone to join the fight. Starbucks may do what they wish and I will respond as I see fit. Americans may carry weapons (legally) if they want, or not, if they prefer. What they may NOT do is try to actively prevent me from exercising MY rights.

  11. I’m not jumping on the boycott bandwagon over a memo that says “don’t bring guns, but if you do we’ll serve you coffee anyways.” They’re a business not a PAC. Let them pander to both sides, if it’s to break the grabber’s boycott. I want anti-gunners to buy $6 coffee, not donate to Brady. If they start asking pro-gunners to leave, and call the cops on polite citizens, then boycott. Until then, enjoy some frappacino!

  12. I used to frequent starbucks regularly, before I lived in a town with a local coffee shop. I used to go if Im in the area and its more convenient than driving to the local shop. If this is true, then Ill be drinking local from now on it seems.

  13. I like their coffee. It’s on my way to my parents house. I’ll wait and watch…
    Geez, this kinda feels like a kick in the nads after reading the good news in Illinois.
    Two steps up and one step back.

  14. No mercy. Boycott. Not only boycott, go in and ask for a cup of hot water. They don’t charge you. Then dunk your own damned tea bag in it and walk out.

    • Agreed. Ultimately putting up the no-gun sign on the door is the force of law. In this letter it is evident they intend to enforce nothing. The letter was a polite request for the gun crowd to leave them alone and ultimately attempted to appease both sides. Here we tell Moms Demand Action that we don’t want to have guns in our stores – then we tell the Gun Crowd we are not going to enforce this.

      It appears to me they want to stay out of the argument and sell us both coffee.

  15. I know probably a dozen vociferous open carriers. I like to spend time with exactly one of them.

    I’m wearing my Nomex boxers, so flame away, but open carriers so often lack any ‘context’ regarding their actions.

    Grabbers are operating on a very long time horizon, measured in decades. Sadly, I can’t see how the next generation will enjoy the ‘freedoms’ we currently enjoy (excepting those on the upper-right coast and lower-left coast – I’m sorry you have so few freedoms).

    That being said, I may, when there is no line to inconvenience me, step up to a counter that I’m passing anyway, and say, “I’d like to order a triple venti nonfat no-foam caramel macchiato…except I can’t, because of your company’s idiotic decision regarding legal gun owners…feel free to pass this along.” (Yes, I know I’d be wasting my breath. That’s why I wouldn’t exert myself.)

  16. I blame gun owners for this. IIRC MAC has said it: what part of “neutral stance” did gun owners not understand? When you have a pro gun rally in Starbucks’ across the country you pissed off the moms almost on purpose and dragged them into this debate when they never wanted a part in it. I think the principles were kinda flawed here.

    • Yeah, MAC’s post titled “Slapping an Ally in the Face” was spot on. Starbucks was doing the right thing by not prohibiting citizens from exercising their 2nd amendment rights, even in the face of intense pressure from gun grabbers. They simply asked not to be used as the icon for a politically decisive issue by holding massive rallies on their property. We did the exact opposite of what they asked we have no one to blame but ourselves. Reading through this thread I see comments stating they will boycott Starbucks. IMHO, this will only drive them to put no CCW signage up and actively enforce a firearms ban on their premises. The best thing we can do is support their business financially (the $2 campaign is a good/discreet way of doing this) and write their company HQ, politely asking them to remove this policy.

      • They will probably lament the new policy wish to revert back to the previous policy. The new policy is asking for a boycott with open carriers standing outside of the shops.

        • Right. Now that you have forced Starbucks’ hand, you’ll stand outside and picket while open carrying. Because… you know… lots of dissatisfied people… with guns… in plain view… in front of the door. No one gets hurt, no acts up. Just an implication that things might happen if you buy a caramel macchiato.

          It’s refreshing to see that you’ll be resorting to the innuendo of violence. Your true colors on display for all to see.

        • They will most likely lament this policy when and if they begin to see an uptick in numbers of robberies and/or assaults in their now gun free/free fire/victim rich stores. If I were them I WOULD post no guns signs at the door of each location, but I think I would make it very specific “NO OPENLY CARRIED FIREARMS ALLOWED”, which would keep the bad guys wondering but make the anti-gunners believe there were no guns around. That would seem like a win-win to me.

        • If you embarrass and cripple our image like that we are going to throw you under the bus. I think you must be a double agent for bloomberg, if not completely lacking in perspective.

  17. The Starbucks I used to frequent before I was sickened a couple times by their iced coffee was staffed by a bunch of liberals/feminists/very openly gay men. I also know that a relative of someone who worked there was murdered in a drug deal gone bad. Just a couple miles from this Starbucks a 7-11 was robbed last year and a clerk I knew fairly well from Bangladesh was shot to death by some African American gentlemen who wanted the contents of the register.

    I suspect that Starbucks will leave this up to franchise/manager discretion. I know the employees I got to know at Starbucks would have radically different moods depending on who was acting as their manager that day. If you live in a solidly conservative area where guns are kosher then I don’t think anything will change, but in liberal areas? I live in a blue state that has open carry so I suspect I might get asked to leave if I showed up with a handgun. Thankfully they have a drive-thru if I ever decide to go back.

  18. I truly hate to say this but we are our own worst enemy. We pushed the limit at places like Starbucks, and with open carry. We are painting ourselves as what the anti gunners want. A bunch of gun crazy nuts. I don’t believe that we are crazy, but we have not helped our own cause by acting like we are exceedingly special. Please in the future use a little forethought before trying to make a point. Especially during a time when we are being watched by every member of the public.

    • H-N-H,

      If I happen to have a chunk of metal and plastic on my side, it doesn’t make me anything — sane or a “nut”. People should judge us by the quality of our character and actions, not our “accessories”.

      If loads of people suddenly equated red shirts with terrorism, should we all stop wearing red shirts because lots of people will say that we are “red shirt” terrorists or “red shirt” terrorist sympathizers?

  19. Let me repeat. They have supported us for years. Perhaps we should support them for a while. Tell the store managers we miss the open carry, but will still support them. Write the company telling them we feel they should go back to the old policy, but do it nicely. Starbucks business is selling coffee, not gun rights. I think we should cut them a little slack and try to show them we are not ungrateful a$$ holes.

  20. The world runs on incentives. If they take this action and see no negative repercussions, they will be incentivized to go further.

    We must give them an incentive not to.

    There is no fine line here. They have handed Shannon Watts an exploitable victory. They must not be rewarded with our apathy.

  21. Guys you need to relax. Breathe. This is Starbucks, they are a liberal company if there ever was one and their product is overpriced and generally not all that great. If you consider yourself a conservative you should probably be getting your coffee and treats elsewhere anyway.

    For all we know Starbucks was just waiting for the most opportune time to make a move like this. The best thing people of the gun can do is ignore this, in my opinion.


    No, just avoid it in general if you can because you should anyway. Here in Delaware there are many people who OC in a discreet manner, don’t let them turn us against each other.

  22. Just. Don’t. Care!
    On this one, anyway. Starbucks is a private business, and as far as I know, they have yet to come out and actually support anything 2A-friendly publicly anyway. People just keep putting words in their mouths, from both sides.

    And I have to join the angry chorus here: Open carry is stupid. We are 1000x safer and more effective when we aren’t drawing attention to ourselves. This is as true tactically as it is socially. They can’t paint us as crazies when they can’t pick us out of a lineup.

    • Open carry – REAL open carry – is not stupid. Real open carry is not about drawing attention to yourself, it’s not walking around with an unloaded rifle that won’t protect you unless you use it as a club, and it’s not recording yourself on video and boasting about your police encounter on youtube.

      It’s simply going about your normal daily business and carrying a weapon while doing so. It’s carrying openly so that you may access your weapon quickly and defend yourself if needed, and/or serve to deter criminals.

      The problem is not open carry – the problem is misguided political activism that involves walking around with weapons that aren’t great for close-quarters personal defense (e.g. an AR-15) and making a big show of it. Unless you’re in an area where the probability of a large wild animal attack is high, it makes much more sense to carry a pistol vs. a rifle.

      I’m @#%ing sick of those on their concealed carry high horse who bash open carry. I can draw my weapon faster than you if I open carry. I can have a bigger weapon and more ammo than you if I open carry. I have a weapon that fits my hands better if I open carry. I don’t have to worry about my shirt getting in the way when I open carry. I don’t have to worry about melting to death in a hot summer with too much clothing if I open carry.

      And if I’m not acting like a jerk, I can properly educate people as to why carrying a firearm makes sense, why it is entirely appropriate, and I can give a good impression of a firearm owner. If you concealed carry, no one who is curious will ask you, since they don’t know you’re carrying. If you’re concealed carrying, you do nothing to “normalize” the carrying of firearms.

      Does concealed carry have advantages? Sure, sometimes (especially in very crowded areas). So does open carry.

      Don’t smear all open carry people because some pro-gun folks don’t understand the game of politics and do stupid things. Educate the misguided political activists so that they don’t screw it up for everyone.


      Open carry is supposed to be boring. It’s supposed to be doing your normal daily activities and simply carrying a weapon on you openly as you do so.

      The guys that screwed it up for everyone weren’t open carrying – they were practicing political activism. Carrying an unloaded rifle is a political stunt that involves the display of weapons. It does nothing to normalize open carry and can result in a backlash (as it did with Starbucks).

      Open carry has advantages, as does concealed carry. It depends on the person / circumstances / environment / etc. Don’t bash open carry, and don’t lump open carriers in with misguided political activists.

  23. Quite the opposite of what this might seem, i think H.S. is trying to provoke a confrontation. He’s done this by putting the ball in the gun rights advocate’s court.

    He’s playing games here. This is a high order, well thought out setup. This is what creating a predicate looks like.

    He wants guns out. This is clear. He wants your money. That is clear as well, and if he can’t get it, he will just create the situation leading to an outright sign on the door ban. He’s made his call already.

    He’s on his knees praying we ignore him. He’s hoping for a single incident, a single ‘eff you’, a single gun hating customer to call Johnnie law. Then he can blame us, and build more shops in Borneo to make up the loss.

    Don’t waste your time or energy, or money with this guy. He’s bad news. I know, I’m from western Washington. Let the hippies and hipsters have him. You guys should be drinking boiled grounds from a tin pot anyways. Man up fer chrissakes.

  24. Have been a Starbucks fan for a long time,but with this new revelation,bending over for MDA,has lead me to rethink if I want to spend my money in a place that will turn they’re back on us after all of the business we have given them all these years with no strings attached!Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  25. The said they would allow guns as long as local law permitted but clearly did not want the attention of pro- or anti-2a groups. For some reason this was seen as a reason to hold an open carry protest at the Starbucks in Newtown, CT. The result of open carry protests seems to be greater restrictions and people caving to MDA and MAIG. Would it have been so hard to simply carry concealed and let the issue fade away?

    • The issue isn’t carrying openly vs. concealed – the issue is “open carry” vs. “political activism.”

      Open carry has nothing to do with gathering a group of folks together and marching into any particular business to purchase something. It has to do with simply conducting one’s normal, boring everyday activities as usual, and carrying a firearm openly while doing so.

      Carrying an unloaded long gun is not really open carrying – it’s a political stunt. The problem is that some people who prefer open carry decided to conduct their political activism at a business that is neither pro- nor anti- gun and would rather stay out of the discussion.

      In short, the problem isn’t the open carry movement. It’s a subset of the OC movement that is insistent on conducting political activism, even if it’s not wanted by a business.

      Open carrying is not supposed to be exciting, or attention-gathering, or anything of the sort. OC is supposed to be as boring as CC. There are advantages and disadvantages for both methods.

  26. If they are concerned about open carry, they should have only banned open carry. Instead, everyone who conceal carries is not welcome at Starbucks now. How does that make sense? There are many of us who conceal carry because of very specific threats. I carry because of my previous career choice — law enforcement. I have visited the same Starbucks everyday for the passed 8 years, and now, I am no longer welcome. I guess it is time to buy an automated espresso machine. It will be a lot cheaper and probably easier on the waist line.

  27. I carry for my safety and my family’s safety. I’m not going to let bigots dictate where I go and what I do.

    Anyway, Starbucks tends to be less expensive, more consistent, friendlier, and less bohemian than the independent cafes in my area.

  28. Have any of you read past the first rule. I mean come on you’re painting gun owners as illiterate mindless pawns. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE. Guess what a lot of businesses do not support you having open carry in their stores but let you anyway because it’s LEGAL. It’s a different story when you’re being rude or disruptive but that goes for anyone. Stop being a mindless pawn and develop your own opinion. We’ve turned this into an all or nothing war on the 2A. And you’re either with us or against us. Great job to all the PACs on both sides, you’ve done a phenomenal job fueling a fight and taking everyone’s money “to help gun rights/control.” To you people that have your black and white lines drawn in the sand I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing regardless of where the PAC tells me to do.

  29. Thank you open carry nitwits. We lost open carry handgun and then long gun in CA thanks to your need to stroke youour ego. I sympathize with Starbucks having to be the adult in the sandbox in this catfight between you and the mommy libtards. Hard to tell who’yys got their pantries in a bigger twist here between you both.

  30. Ps what’s with the broken code insisting on opening the comments page in mobile view? Anyone else having same issue on safari (kindle)?

  31. Ps. If we could get ccw in my social county on simple grounds of self defense I’d carry ccw very discreetly. Not to show off. And honor their respectful request and go someplace else. Plenty of good coffee shops around.

  32. Looks like they caved in to a group of what 40 women??
    Oh well
    I don’t go there anyway as I have a problem with anything but a normal cup of coffee but to each their own on that one.
    Open carry has its place but even I feel not to intimidate sheeple.

  33. Anyone writing to Starbucks should frame this as a matter of civil rights, the Bill of Rights not being something from which to pick and choose.

    Would Starbucks heed Phred Phelps or the KKK because some moron was offended when they saw an interracial couple kiss or two guys hold hands? I think not.

    Were the argument framed in these terms, they might well see the light.

    Or not; I don’t see the Religious Right screaming about Hagar Tri-wool slacks or clam chowder.

    Still, it offers the best chance of success.

  34. From what I’ve read, it seems like the intent is “please don’t OPEN carry” more than please don’t carry. And even then, they have no intention of stopping you if you do.

  35. Look at all the whining. Bunch of babies. So what. Private business they can do what they want. Dont like it dont go but stop the crying.

  36. Simple. The request could mirror the signs about no dogs allowed except for guide/service dogs. Something like: “No open-carry weapons allowed except by uniformed law enforcement officials.”

    I’ve personally soft-boycotted them since their big expansion drove many local coffee shops out of business, so despite a very heavy caffeine habit I patronize them maybe twice a year. Still, driving by I get the impression the most profitable demographic is probably not the open-carry crowd.

    “Speak softly and carry a big stick” is great advice for the open carry crowd. I get why they open carry, but long game strategy seldom benefits from in-your-face tactics. The trick would have been to just get your coffee while openly carrying and saying absolutely nothing.

    Maybe carrying openly is kind of like having a tattoo. You can have one on your arm or ankle, or you can have one on your forehead.

  37. I see a lot of blaming the victim here. Like blaming a girl dressing nice for getting raped. Starbucks hands off approach was fine, they caved. The biggest joke is not doing a ban in fear of having to enforce it. news flash, people open carrying are not going to shoot you if asked to leave. Nut up or shut up. This policy will piss everyone off now, nice job.

    • Good looking girls are responsible for rape because they look good. Children are responsible or mass shootings because they frequent gun free zones. Open carriers are responsible for gun bans because they exercise a fundamental civil right

      • I would agree. However this is not you walking on a public sidewalk – or a government building that everyone shares or crossing the street. Starbucks are privately owned. We are guests on their property. I know you are pro-gun. But are you pro-rights? It is Starbucks right to tell us that they don’t want guns on their property. Now they have decided not to enforce this (because they want to sell us coffee). If we push the issue, then they can push us away. It is their right. Their property – their rules.

  38. I’m surprised by the tone of the comments on this. TTAG readers seem to be a pretty rational group. Starbucks essentially supported our cause by standing firm in the face of those who wanted them to make Starbucks stores a gun-free zone. In way of thanks, a decent number of gun owners “thanked” them by turning their place of business into a divisive lightening rod of a place… not good for business.

    And now we’re mad at Starbucks for trying to keep their business healthy after folks on our own side took actions that we knew would harm it? That doesn’t make any sense. The $2 bill idea was a nice, subtle way to show our appreciation, the open-carry rallies… not so much.

    Let’s be the kind of people that people want to support.

    • Legally following the law should be cause for controversy. It’s like calling Tim Tebow controversial because the media thinks his views and way of life are silly. Since when is being a nice guy controversial?

      Same thing here, following the actual law causing controversy means those freaking out about guns need to grow up.

    • If I want to walk around the sidewalk with my gun that is my right. But if Starbucks doesn’t want guns on their property that is their right. Back in the day, people checked their guns at the door. Although I would prefer people be able to carry in their shops – it is their place not mine. Their property – their rules. I am pro-gun, but I am pro-rights more than pro gun.

  39. Let me weigh in as a lawyer: there is no ban. They go to great lengths to indicate this. Short of putting up signs in states with that requirement (and even then, they may punt on the wording), this is a simple leave us out of this message to both sides. Frankly, given how shrill the MDA crowd is, and knowing some of their counsel, I suspect this letter was crafted carefully to ensure there was no ban, to get the MDA to think they won and move on, and to let pro gunners know they need to take the open carry bullshit somewhere else.

    • No shit, there is not a ban, however, they basically “request” no more open carry. That is like telling a friend, I don’t want to ever see you again at my house, but I’m not going to ban you from my house.

      • No, Leonard, it’s nothing like that. It’s not a friend, and it’s not your house. It’s just like saying, “I’d prefer you didn’t carry guns in my store, but if you choose to, I’m not going to stop you, and I’m going to serve you like it’s not even there.”

        Oh, wait. That’s exactly what they said.

      • Leonard,
        Their letter is an attempt to appease both groups. Here they are telling the anti-gun group like moms demand action that we don’t want guns in our stores but on the flip side they are telling us… by the way, we are not going to enforce this. For all concealed carry guys, nobody is going to know if they are carrying or not. So, it doesn’t change much. They did not say guns are not allowed and we are going to put up a sign on the door that says so. They just want to sell everyone coffee – including you.

        Everyone is freaking out of this response. This is a good response to me. This is their private property folks. Not a public street or sidewalk. They are completely within their right to disallow guns in their store. – It’s disappointing, but I’m fine with that.

        Just like if a stranger shows up on your ranch with a gun. He says one of his cattle is in your field. Maybe you don’t trust him – maybe you would like him to leave his gun in his truck or get off your property. Your property – your rules. Starbucks property – Starbucks rules.

  40. I like Starbucks coffee. I never really liked going there, however, because 1) it’s almost freaking impossible to explain to them that I like plain, black coffee and 2) the coffee in the break room is free….

    That said, WHY are they pandering to both sides? The way I saw the situation unfold, mostly through TTAG, was that the grabbers’ boycott kinda fizzled because the members of MDA couldn’t live without their frapuccino. So if Starbucks wasn’t actually losing money, why would they change/create a corporate policy because of someone complaining?

    • BECAUSE – they really don’t support the 2nd Amendment. This way they can “cave” and blame the Newtown OC’ers for actually letting them do what they’ve wanted to do all along.

      • THIS X1000

        They are a LIBERAL company. If you really think about it do we even know how many people chose to take the activist route and open carry in the Starbucks to make a point? How easy would it be to get some paid agitators out there? For Bloomberg and friends, it would be all in a days work.

        This is a classic tactic of DIVISION. Here where I live you need a permit to carry concealed but open carry does NOT require one, the same is true of more than a few states where historically there wasn’t much problem with outlaws carrying guns on their belts riding into town. I am not an open carry activist but I value my right to carry outside my home without a permit from the state if I need to do so.

        Open carry of handguns will never be normal in a lot of places, but a lot of times people don’t even notice you are carrying a gun openly. This is a big to do about nothing by a liberal company that could easily have been on Bloomberg’s side the whole time. Understand that ALL big money corporations like Starbucks will put their bottom line before your rights, PERIOD! Starbucks is no exception, if anything they are already biased against your rights and said nothing up to this point so you would keep buying their burnt swill.

  41. FOAD Starbucks – I gave up supporting your over-priced coffee after you got political in Newtown earlier this year. NO BIG LOSS.

    • Like so many other times, I can tell you again don’t understand the situation. Starbucks didn’t get political by closing their Newtown store on that one day, they tried really hard to avoid it.

      The open carry advocates were planning a perfectly legal but somewhat insensitive event at the Newtown Starbucks. The screeching anti moms got wind of it and were planning a perfectly legal but obnoxious counter protest. Starbucks, not wanting to be involved because it had nothing whatso-effing-ever to do with them, simply decided to close that one store for one afternoon and take themselves out of a fight that was not their own. They weren’t being political, they were being apolitical.

  42. Thanks Starbucks for making we wanting to go into any of your stores while carrying concealed to the letter of my state’s laws a legally confusing and potentially illegal visit. The double talk makes a gray area too great to navigate in my opinion, and I’d rather not test the waters in our recently much much less gun loving state (CT). I see a sharp drop in my consumption of their products.

    • Same for me in NC. Any posted sign is potentially enforceable by the law and considering how ignorant a lot of LEO’s are to the law in general and specifically gun laws is it worth going to jail and have your rights stripped because a bunch og whiny babies can’t handle reality?

      • Same, a posted sign of any sort anywhere is technically enforceable (meaning not visible, online, etc etc, don’t know if anyone has ever been prosecuted this way but these days I wouldn’t take the chance). Even just a managers/owners verbal says so is enforceable. But how does a suggestion fit with that? Does this suggestion carry the same weight of prohibiting something? How does this ‘corporate memo’ fit into a scheme of a posted sign or verbal instruction, its not readily visible but it is well known so does that mean I am breaking the law because I have knowledge of their intentions? This is as much a problem with CT’s laws as it is with this new Starbucks policy. IMO too may questions and not enough obvious answers.

  43. They simply don’t want to be an battleground. It is their property and their business. Activists keep thrusting them into the debate. They are asking what should be obvious, people have different views, don’t antagonize each other in our store. Whether it is free speech or open carry activism or whatever. If the kkk started exercising their right to free speech in their stores they’d be asked to shut up or go somewhere else to demonstrate too.

  44. Starbucks has an image to keep. Clean, family oriented, safe. The first and last you can do while having your AR on your back. The second (family oriented), is the issue. Regardless of my personal views, I know there are many who are uncomfortable around guns. Which ruins their atmosphere, which turns down sales. It’s them trying to keep business. They didn’t say you can’t. They explicitly said they would still serve gunnies… The only thing they ask is to be rational about it. Personally bringing your AR to Starbucks is a stunt and not practical. They don’t want to be a center point for stunts. They don’t want to be tossed into a debate that honestly has nothing to do with them. I feel sort of bad for Starbucks because they have to be the company in the middle. But better them than mcdonalds because I know for sure that mcdonalds would ban all guns because it’s too much of a risk & they wouldn’t chance any incident to come falling back on them…. Let’s not forget about their hot coffee issue from the 80’s

  45. Starbucks seems wishy washy to me, a ban that isn’t a ban will only cause confusion, there’s a little part of me that would like to see a nation-wide coast to coast open carry. Make Starbucks draw their line in the sand. Pick a policy, don’t hem-and-haw. Piss or get off the pot.

    • The wording is extremely confusing. What constitutes a disruption? Why is there only mention of what to say to a disruptive person with a gun and nothing specific regarding a disruptive person who is angry that another customer is carrying? They say they won’t refuse to serve you but if someone decides to make a scene over your choice to carry it sounds like they are reserving the right to ask you and only you to leave if you are the one carrying a weapon.

      The policy is clearly 100% anti open carry. They are demonizing it. It is pointless the way some folks are trying to contort themselves into proclaiming Starbucks as “on our side” or “neutral.” They were never either of those things. They are the Wal-Mart of coffee shops, they crush small business and they have never given a damn about your rights. Neutrality is an excellent camouflage for an enemy to take on, think about it.

      Think about what their previous policy was: That they will abide local law. Well, where I live local law says you can OC almost anywhere and that business owners have the right to ask you to leave. Now they are reserving the right to ask anyone with a gun to leave anywhere if it causes a “disruption.” What happened to the law?

      They are turning their managers into political commissars. Knowing the Starbucks managers I have met they will eagerly embrace this role.

  46. I personally like Starbucks, it is a good place to sit and drink coffee with friends. Since the open letter seems to contradict itself, my question is: “who cares?”

    I live in a state that doesn’t allow open carry, and I really don’t care at all about the open carry movement whatsoever…if anything, people that made a fuss and staged open carry demonstrations at private businesses that were trying to be neutral on the debate caused this in the first place. Good job!

    I carry my firearm concealed. I have never had anyone confront me about the fact that I have a gun. I will continue to meet my friends at Starbucks from time to time, and whichever pistol I am carrying will be on my hip, concealed…you know…so no one knows I’m carrying. If by some far flung chance someone notices and asks me to leave, I will respectfully do as they ask and lock my pistol in my truck. It’s their store, they can do whatever they want. I happen to know the manager of the Starbucks I frequent and I sincerely doubt that she gives a sh*t one way or the other if someone has a firearm in her store anyways.

    So to summarize…whatever. Much ado about nothing. JMO

  47. Reading that somewhat rambling “I don’t want trouble!” letter from the CEO mostly served to remind me just how stupid we can be sometimes. Starbucks was never chomping at the bit to become a 2A advocate, Starbucks just didn’t want to challenge what had been for them a non-issue til this year. Enter the Mom Who Screech and the Open Carry Don’t Tread On Me crowds.
    I’ve had a CCW for what, 7 years now? Never once have I open carried in public. Nada. Even at the rallies at the Capitol, I carried concealed. Open Carry does little to change the “hearts and minds,” does even less to promote safety, and does nothing for self defense- I can draw and engage a lot faster than I can swing a sling, charge and fire.
    So I’m a little mad at Starbucks, but I’m more mad at “Starbucks Open Carry” day. We’ve made some big victories this year, and we’ve jammed the tide, but stupid shit like this hands mulligans to people like Watts, who are by far and away the most ineffective and impotent of the anti-gun crowd, but it will give them a victory to rally behind.
    Next time “we” decide to pick a battleground, and parade around with our rifles on our backs, let’s at least pick somewhere where there is something to gain. Starbucks was never going to be outwardly pro-gun, and now they’re going to have to slant more anti. For no good reason. This was the only likely outcome, and now we’re going to have to hear about MDA’s heroic victory over coffee shops.

  48. I normally don’t go to Starbucks by choice, but in my business it’s sometimes the only place where I can meet a potential client. If they become a client we never meet there again. On the rare occasions I have had to go to one, I have always carried where it’s legal, and I will continue to do so.

  49. I can’t blame Starbucks one bit. Keep in mind that they’re not banning carry, but they’re asking that people not carry openly in their stores. Why? Because people went overboard and made it a political staging ground. They’re a business and must respect the wishes of their clients. Keep in mind that they took a lot of heat for leaning libertarian and openly permitting carry in the first place. Do them a solid and carry concealed.

    Also, for those who don’t understand why a large percentage of folks are so uncomfortable seeing guns – I suggest you read the metaphor of the sheep, wolf, and sheepdog. It helped me understand the psychology involved.

      • They didn’t dis-invite any people. They dis-invited MDA’s annoying activist tools and behavior as well as your annoying activist tools and behavior.

        In the meantime this didn’t have to happen if everyone had the sense to not antagonize each other on someone’s private property and turn someone’s business into a symbol. Neutrality is not support, and we should applaud neutrality in business even above taking sides.

        • “Neutrality is not support, and we should applaud neutrality in business even above taking sides.”

          Well said!! Agree.

          • Open carriers supported Starbucks because they remained neutral. Now that they have changed their policy and no longer remain neutral open carriers will simply no longer frequent Starbucks. When a company executive says they do not want open carriers on premises, it means they have disinvited you. They do not want open carriers on their property. It is not a ban, but do you want to spend time and money at a private owned business where you are not welcome?

        • Leonard,

          You have been trying to get your way through certain tactics for a while now. Do you ever stop and ask yourself, are you closer or farther away from your goal after doing what you do? You are farther away now and that can only mean two things, either your cause is wrong or your tactics stuck. I believe it is the latter, not the former.


        • Well, if that’s your point of view then I don’t know what to say other than maybe listen to someone else’s in the fight.

          All I experience is as gun rights get pushed forward using other tactics, these open carry protests always are something dragging us rearward that we don’t have any good answers for and that are hard to defend/justify.


        • Thank you, I was going to say the same thing.

          The minute you stand up, act indignant, demand your rights to do as you please where you please, and get all up in people’s faces – things always go the opposite of the way you want them to go.

          Ask me how I know.

  50. A direct quote from the open letter:

    “Our company’s longstanding approach to “open carry” has been to follow local laws: we permit it in states where allowed and we prohibit it in states where these laws don’t exist. We have chosen this approach because we believe our store partners should not be put in the uncomfortable position of requiring customers to disarm or leave our stores. We believe that gun policy should be addressed by government and law enforcement—not by Starbucks and our store partners.

    Recently, however, we’ve seen the “open carry” debate become increasingly uncivil and, in some cases, even threatening. Pro-gun activists have used our stores as a political stage for media events misleadingly called “Starbucks Appreciation Days” that disingenuously portray Starbucks as a champion of “open carry.” To be clear: we do not want these events in our stores. Some anti-gun activists have also played a role in ratcheting up the rhetoric and friction, including soliciting and confronting our customers and partners.”

    Translation: Starbucks wanted to follow the law of each state, and it got thrown into the spotlight by open carry demonstrators and MDA. Stop demonstrating at our business.

  51. Starbucks is in a “damned if you do; damned if you don’t situation,” and that’s unfortunate for a company that just wants to succeed in an environment that seems to regard capitalism as an embarrassment. I make a fairly decent cup of coffee at home, and our local Starbucks is located in a Safeway where I shop. I carry concealed at all times, anyway, so the issue is moot.

  52. Personally I think they should have continued their existing policy which was fair and rational and just tell people to stop grand standing at their stores.

    Call the police, charge them with loitering.

  53. When TTAG reaches out for comment I hope you pin them down on whether this applies only to open carry or if they are “banning” concealed as well. I see their point that they don’t want to be a protest flashpoint, and I don’t much care for open carry, especially when it is done explicitly to draw attention, but the letter sure reads like they don’t want your gun in their store.

    • A concern I share as well, though they seem to indicate preference versus banning. For me I’ll need to see if / what they post on premise that’s what matters in PA.

  54. Personally I empathize with Starbucks on this one. While I’d prefer they left their old policy in place, look at what they’re up against. No company wants to be dragged into a politically divisive debate. From the response I read this morning, I really think you need to read between the lines. I think they’re basically saying “we won’t ban CONCEALED carry in our stores, but please don’t OPEN carry. It’s not ideal, but the fact that they’re not enacting an outright ban speaks volumes to me.

    • That might be what they are saying, but the letter, taken at its face, is a request for NO guns. I too sympathize with their desire to just sell coffee, but they could have simply said “no open carry” and left it at that.

      • They wanted to stay neutral and worked hard at it for a while until the two camps forced them to pick a side. That’s how I see it.

        Both sides of the debate are the reason this happening.

        They are STILL trying by not saying “no open carry” … just read between the lines and be satisfied. Push more and expect an answer we don’t like.

        • As a fan of 7-11 coffee I don’t care if I don’t get to go to Starbucks, and I agree that the OC folks way overplayed their hand, but I want to know where they stand. It is an easy thing to say “no open carry please” and move on, but it doesn’t look like they did that.

    • Yep. This was a largely self inflicted injury. We should remember that just like the antis can overreact and make clowns of themselves (which is often right about the point where they start losing) we run the same risk. You have a right to defend yourself no doubt, but if you are making a big show of open carrying you aren’t just doing it to defend yourself.

  55. People, Starbucks did not tell us that open carry is not welcome, they said that all forms of carry are not welcome. As a civilized group, we must honor that. It does not matter why you carry (former police, military, crime victim, etc.), Starbucks does not want you there. The cost of an automated espresso machine is a lot cheaper than the annual cost of Starbucks drinks for the average consumer. Personally, I am looking forward to buying an espresso machine and another Kimber, and I will still have money left over.

    • Precisely. They are kowtowing, they are giving into the paranoia of the MDA puppets. There was no need to make this statement other than to appease fascist pigs with makeup on, who stamped their feet and whined until their precious liberal coffee chain gave in.

      I am repulsed by many of the comments in this thread, the contortions that bourgeois minds can make to spin this kind of slap to the face into something good or something that gun owners brought about themselves. It isn’t, Starbucks didn’t have to respond. They chose to throw MDA and Bloomberg a lifeline, because their politics are in line and always have been. That is the real reason “open carry activists” were foolish, they were praising the kind of company that sneers at them.

      Render unto Starbucks that which is Starbucks’ and don’t condemn your fellow gun owner because you think your pig approved mode of state sanctioned carry is superior to just wearing a damn pistol just because you can.

  56. I suspect that the right to bear arms enumerated in the 2nd Amendment is still fulfilled if a State allows concealed, but not open carry. In that case, allowing open carry is a democratic choice, and it is gratifying that the number of States allowing open carry has been gradually expanding. So, open carry has a measure of democratic legitimacy that die-hard opponents of it seem unwilling to accept. Heck, given that, e.g., Missouri has just passed a law allowing open carry, could it possibly be the case that it is OK to open-carry in that State if one wants to?

    That said, entirely ignoring people’s sensibilities as to where and how one carries can backfire, and bringing rifles to Starbucks was stupid beyond belief. They should’ve at least limited themselves to carrying handguns, and even that with some deference to local sensibilities. Go slow is the right approach with open carry.

    • Addressing the larger issue for the moment,

      “I suspect that the right to bear arms enumerated in the 2nd Amendment is still fulfilled if a State allows concealed, but not open carry.” Is patently false. If one were to allow a parsing of any of the Bill of Rights some case could be made for violating those rights for numerous reasons.

      The Second Amendment states, rather unequivocally, “…the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” What part of this gives ANY government, state or federal, the authority to “allow” concealed carry? The whole point of the amendment is to enumerate natural, civil and constitutionally protected rights that the government must not interfere with and has no authority to modify.

      [End rant]

      • I meant that in the sense of the likely court decisions. We have seen at least one case (Illinois) where a court affirmed the right to carry. It seems far less likely that a court would invalidate a statute that provided for “shall issue” concealed carry licenses while disallowing open carry.

        My own take on it is that a State can certainly not block both open and concealed carry without violating the 2nd Amendment, but whether it can interfere with just one of them I have no idea. I do like it that I live in a State where we get to choose, and without needing a permit for either.

  57. ““We’re thrilled. We believe that this is the beginning of the end for guns in public,” Shannon Watts, founder of the group, told MSNBC. “It’s similar to when it became so distasteful to smoke in public or drink and drive. This is the first domino to fall.””

    “But the organization will continue to pressure Starbucks—as well as other companies—to ban weapons completely from stores and premises.
    “We absolutely expect to see a full-fledged ban within the next 12 months,” Watts said. “This is just the beginning.””


  58. Oh come on guys! They don’t want to be used as a battleground. No company wants that. If you don’t believe you will have a need to shoot something with your AR-15 inside the Starbucks, then why are you carrying it around? Leave it in the truck.

  59. This is a similar policy to that of 7-11. Corporately they are against carrying in their stores. However they don’t post the signs letting us now that. I see this as the same thing. Not like Toys R Us or Buffalo Wild Wings ( horrible wings they one time I went)!

  60. Grant Cunningham said it better than I can:

    As long as it wasn’t illegal (posted store in a state where that invalidates your CCW permit), I would simply carry concealed. What the anti-gun hysterics don’t know won’t upset them and won’t put Starbucks in an awkward position.

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