Starbucks now discouraging guns

September 18, 2013

Starbucks has announced that it will discourage people from bringing guns into its shops -- a move that comes after gun-rights advocates held "Starbucks Appreciation Days" and brought guns to the shops.

Last month, the company was forced to close a location in Newtown, Conn., the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings, when gun-rights supporters planned to hold a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" at that location.

While Starbucks is not banning guns -- as some establishments do -- the company is saying the weapons are no longer welcome in its stores.

"Starbucks is not a policy-maker, and we are not pro-gun or anti-gun," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a web video. "But we do believe that guns and weapons should not be part of the Starbucks experience."

Gun control activists hailed the decision as a positive step.

"This is a huge win for American moms who fought for this policy change, which will make Starbucks customers safer," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "Because Starbucks is a business icon, this policy change represents a sea change in American culture, which is finally shifting away from allowing guns in public places."

The decision marks the latest effort by Starbucks to move away from the charged issue.

After gun-rights supporters began holding "Starbucks Appreciation Days," the company in March 2010 asked customers "to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue."

Gun rights have again flared as an issue following the shooting of a dozen people at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday.

Tom Jackman has more.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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