Brady Campaign Urges Starbucks To Prohibit Guns In Its Retail Outlets

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Peter Hamm,
Communications Director
Doug Pennington,
Assistant Director: 202-898-0792.

Brady Campaign Urges Starbucks To Prohibit Guns In Its Retail Outlets

WASHINGTON -  Radical gun enthusiasts have begun parading into California
restaurants and coffeehouses in recent weeks brazenly displaying
handguns
.  The gun activists have frightened customers,
alarmed police and caused at least two restaurant chains to establish
firm policies prohibiting firearms in their retail locations. 

Ten days ago, gun
violence opponents in California started urging a third chain,
Starbucks, to similarly prohibit the "open carry" of firearms in its
retail establishments, but Starbucks has rebuffed their requests

Today, the national Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence joins with
its chapter leaders in California and across the nation in urging the
Starbucks Coffee Company to bar the carrying of firearms in its shops. 

Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign, today
sent a letter to Howard Schultz, the Chairman, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Starbucks Coffee Company, asking him to change
their policy
. "I am writing to urge you to reverse Starbucks’
current policy allowing persons to carry guns, both openly and
concealed, into your stores," Helmke wrote. "On behalf of the Brady
Campaign and its chapters across the country, I ask you to consider the
rights of the vast majority of your customers to bring their families,
including their children, into your stores without being confronted
with the threatening presence of open-displayed guns."

Read Paul Helmke's letter to Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz here: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/bcam/legislation/open_carry/starbucks-letter.pdf

Just
after New Years Day, gun enthusiasts began targeting restaurants for
meetings, carrying their handguns out in the open, strapped to their
hips.  These gatherings follow last year’s activities by radical
gun-toters who targeted Presidential appearances while openly carrying
firearms. 

After the California gatherings began, executives
with Peet’s Coffee and Tea and California Pizza Kitchen announced they
would exercise their private property right to prohibit the "open
carry" of guns in retail locations

In response to
inquiries about its policy, however, Starbucks’ Customer Relations
Department stated that "Starbucks does not have a corporate policy
regarding customers and weapons; we defer to federal, state and local
laws and regulations regarding this issue." 

"This is
an evasion, not a response," Helmke wrote to the Starbucks CEO. "The
law in California and other states gives businesses the right to bar
guns on their premises.  Just as your stores may prohibit entry by
people who are not wearing shoes, they may prohibit entry by people
carrying guns."

The open display of firearms in public
places is inherently threatening and intimidating, and poses risks to
those nearby, to law enforcement and to the community.  When open
carrying of guns has occurred in retail stores, other customers
understandably become alarmed and the police often are called to the
scene, creating a volatile and potentially dangerous situation.  One
Sheriff's Lieutenant in California said when police respond to a "man
with a gun" call, they have no idea what the intentions of the gun
carrier may be and "the result could be deadly."

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Resources:

Open carry activists at California Starbucks: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/east_bay&id=7248503

Comments of California Sheriff's Lieutenant on "open carry": http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_14241180?nclick_check=1

Letter to Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz from Brady Campaign President Paul Helmke: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/bcam/legislation/open_carry/starbucks-letter.pdf

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The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence.

We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

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