By Gary Lloyd
In an open letter posted on the company’s website Tuesday, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz asked Starbucks customers not to bring their firearms into the coffee stores.
Trussville has two Starbucks locations — one inside Target and the other on the south end of Trussville on U.S. Highway 11.
Schultz said in the letter that this is a “respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas.”
“Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life,” Schultz wrote.
Schultz said Starbucks’ approach to the “open carry” law has been to follow local laws: permit it in states where allowed and prohibit it in states where the law doesn’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,” Schultz wrote. “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.”
Schultz said that for these reasons he “respectfully” requests that customers no longer bring firearms into Starbucks stores or outdoor seating areas, even in states where “open carry” is permitted, unless they’re authorized law enforcement personnel.
Schultz emphasized that this is a request, not an outright ban.
“For those who champion ‘open carry,’ please respect that Starbucks stores are places where everyone should feel relaxed and comfortable,” Schultz wrote. “The presence of a weapon in our stores is unsettling and upsetting for many of our customers.”
Read about Alabama’s gun law here.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.