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Starbucks Shooting Sparks Health Debate: Smoking Guns vs. Smoking Cigarettes

July 11, 2013

By Rick Anderson, Seattle Weekly

2_Meme_Chat-Coffee_vs2 copyDespite the recent wounding of a customer and a new campaign by an anti-gun group, Starbucks isn’t giving up on its controversial policy to permit the open carry of guns in its U.S. shops.

It’s a jittery position for the Seattle-based coffee giant. To keep the workplace safe, Starbucks bans its employees from bearing arms. And concerned about customer health, the chain bans smoking outside the entrance to its stores. But it doesn’t ban coffee drinkers packing heat.

“Our long-standing approach to this topic remains unchanged,” spokesperson Zack Hutson said this week.

Last month, after a Florida woman set her purse down on the floor of a Starbucks in St. Petersberg, the jolt caused her .25 caliber handgun to fire accidentally, wounding her companion in the leg. It was similar to a 2011 incident in a Wyoming Starbucks when a .38 went off in a girl’s purse, sending a bullet flying past several customers.

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