Once again, gun advocates are planning armed rallies inside Starbucks stores throughout the country – this time as part of a national so-called “Starbucks Appreciation Day” on Fri., Aug. 9, 2013. As mothers concerned about our country’s lax gun laws and policies, which have led to a gun violence epidemic resulting in over 30,000 deaths annually, we are asking Starbucks to publicly denounce these armed rallies and to prohibit armed advocates from entering their stores on Friday. More than 2,000 gun advocates have committed to attend.
Unfortunately, this is not the first appreciation day or gun rally held at Starbucks by gun advocates – there have been many. In fact, gun advocates regularly use Starbucks as a meeting destination because they are allowed to bring loaded weapons inside. Recently in South Dakota, Starbucks management was aware that pre-planned armed rallies would be held inside stores but failed to notify customers in advance. Sioux Falls customers were understandably alarmed when more than 60 gun advocates – armed with handguns, semi-automatic rifles, and shotguns – were welcomed inside. Given the lax states laws regarding open carry, these armed citizens did not have to have a permit, screening or – shockingly – any training. Starbucks is not notifying law enforcement in advance of rallies inside their stores.
Starbucks’ stance on guns inside stores is at odds with its other corporate policies. Starbucks bans smoking within 25 feet of its stores in areas where smoking would otherwise be legal. The company also bans firearms from its corporate headquarters and prohibits all employees from carrying guns – even in states where laws would allow them to do so. Like any private business, Starbucks has the legal right to prohibit firearms in its stores in the interest of its customers’ safety, but has chosen not to do so, despite several in-store shootings.
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is calling on Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and the company’s Board of Directors (William Bradley of Allen & Company LLC; Robert M. Gates; Mellody Hobson, Ariel Investments, LLC; Kevin Johnson, Juniper Networks, Inc; Olden Lee, PepsiCo, Inc.; Joshua Cooper Ramo, Kissinger Associates; James Shennan, Jr., Trinity Ventures; Clara Shih, Hearsay Social, Inc.; Javier Teruel, Colgate-Palmolive Company; Myron Ullman, III, J.C. Penney Company, Inc.; Craig Weatherup, Pepsi-Cola Company) to stop sanctioning these armed rallies inside stores and to immediately ban guns from all Starbucks locations.
We encourage Starbucks customers to sign our petition and join us in demanding that Starbucks end this reckless policy.