Come drink our coffee but leave your guns at home! That is the message from Starbucks after the US chain found itself becoming a reluctant hero of gun rights activists.
Until now Starbucks has deferred to local gun laws, which in many states allow firearms to be carried into shops – giving a wrong impression, says its boss:
“I think it’s really important to be very clear that Starbucks is not a policy maker and that we are not pro or anti-gun,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
“We just believe that our customers and our people would be much more comfortable if guns are not part of the Starbucks experience.”
Starbucks said its decision to request customers not to bring guns with them was not in response to Monday’s shootings at the Washington Navy Yard base which left 13 people dead.
Instead the chain said it was due to armed gun rights activists holding so-called “Starbucks Appreciation Day” events in their coffee shops, implying they had the brand’s backing.