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Starbucks: Customers Carry Guns But Employees Are Prohibited
WASHINGTON - March 17 - The Starbucks Coffee Company allows customers to carry guns, yet prohibits employees from having weapons in Starbucks stores.
"These two policies seem to be in conflict," said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "If employees having guns is dangerous, why isn't it equally dangerous for customers to have guns?"
Starbucks' Standards of Business Conduct manual, posted on the company's website, reads "Partners [employees] may not have or possess any weapon while in a Starbucks store, plant or on other Starbucks property."
The manual is here: http://assets.starbucks.com/assets/sobc-fy09-eng.pdf.
The Brady Campaign launched an online petition earlier this year (at www.bradycampaign.org), asking people to send a message to Starbucks to bar firearms in its stores. More than 33,000 have signed the petition. "We continue to urge Starbucks to join other companies in establishing a no gun policy," Helmke said.
"Starbucks has defended its policy allowing customers to have guns by arguing that it is merely complying with the law. But, of course, prohibiting employees from having guns is also complying with the law," Helmke said. "The law allows Starbucks to determine its own gun policies. It has made the right choice on guns for employees and the wrong choice on guns for customers."
The company hosts its annual meeting for shareholders next Wednesday in Seattle.