Guns Are Allowed in Starbucks

We were surprised to see that Starbucks allows customers to bring firearms in its stores where local laws allow for the carrying of unconcealed weapons. The chain does this in some areas despite the fact that it doesn’t have to and other retailers have their own policies banning guns.

According to the Assoociated Press, Starbucks’ smaller rival, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, doesn’t allow its customers to carry firearms, nor does California Pizza Kitchen.

We’re not sure how we would feel dining by someone with a handgun strapped to their waist. We certainly wouldn’t feel all that comfortable if it is a booze-selling establishment. But just because you can’t see a weapon on a person, doesn’t mean they don’t have one hidden.

Should Starbucks and other similar establishments allow firearms, or does it just create a situation that could cause all sorts of potential problems?

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34 Responses to “Guns Are Allowed in Starbucks”

  1. 1 Portland Husband March 3, 2010 at 9:16 am

    My wife legally carries a concealed weapon for her protection. She is trained, educated, and careful in excercising her legal right, as are most people who legally carry concealed. You sit next to them every day in those states with such laws, and it’s quite ignorant to suggest surprise at the fact that this company respects state law. Banning legally concealed weapons in a store should do nothing to add to your comfort, as you should be concerned about those carrying illegally – who will not heed such a ban anyway. Further, concealed weapons are legally requires to be just that – concealed. You will not see a gun “strapped” to my wife’s waist, as your ill-informed report suggests. She will continue to legally carry her weapon in starbucks regardless of any ban – and if the gun is seen, she will be more concerned about explaining why the weapon is not concealed to police than being asked to leave starbucks (their only recourse for such an offense). So, even if they make a political statement by banning legally concealed weapons, it will be a functional waste of time.

    • 2 Portland Husband March 3, 2010 at 9:23 am

      My apologies for the hasty reply (nit seeing “un” in the unconcealed. While I believe in concealed weapons rights, I think carrying unconcealed is unneccessary and does tend to make people uncomfortable – even me. Again, apologies.

  2. 3 LG March 3, 2010 at 9:18 am

    The second amendment is not a burden on society. People who would restrict the rights of honest citizens certainly are. If you have a gun free zone all it does is create an opportunity for criminals to take advantage of the situation. They don’t care if you allow guns or not. Any half-wit would know to hold up the place where no one is likely to have a gun. People don’t rob gun stores… Do they.

  3. 4 jack March 3, 2010 at 9:28 am

    No Guns should be allowed

  4. 5 Elena March 3, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Have you ever had your coffee made wrong in the morning? It can really ruin your day and could warrant shooting the barista. This is a bad idea.

  5. 6 Shaw Overstreet March 3, 2010 at 9:34 am

    What do you care if people can bring guns into Starbucks? Do you think criminals would stop bringing guns into Starbucks just because they had a policy against it? It is not the job of corporations to create their own social reform within their boutiques by denying citizens their rights.

    I am not sure what the news is in this article. This is just a one-sided view of a topic. This is why bloggers shouldn’t be considered journalists. Get a real job.

  6. 7 Doug March 3, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Listen, as former head of Property Management and Lease Administration for Starbucks 12 years, we dealt with this back in 2002, as there was a a ruckus made in the State of Texas about this issue. At that time a District Manager put signs up at all the Stores around Dallas and Houston stating to leave your weapons outside the store and we even provided cubby shelves and boxes to do so. Then all over the internet there werte postings how Sbux was against the Bill of Rights, in particular the Right To Keep and Bear Arms. We were also thrown into Lease Default for placing signs in the windows that were “political in nature”. I called the DM and ordered her to remove the signs after kmuch discussion with Executives in Seattle Support Center.

    No matter what Sbux does or doesn’t do, they are going to be slammed from some faction. If it isn’t the gun owners and NRA, it is the environmentals, if not them, it is the Guatmalans saying the schools Sbux built isn’t enough, if not them, it is the green power people that state because only 97% of the stores use wind power and not 100% they are in some kind of violation of personal freedom. There is no win situation for Howard Schultz, but that is what happens when your brand becomes an Icon. The siren has become as powerful a brand as Nike’s swoosh, which was the dream 35 years ago.

    • 8 Felix D F March 3, 2010 at 10:54 am

      Doug you are certainly correct on not being able please everyone. Legally concealed weapons should not be part of any discussion. We have had Sbux as a tenant and that store is very well run. The home office accounting as been a real issue over the last several years. I think that must be a result of too large of cut backs to help the bottom line.

  7. 9 dave March 3, 2010 at 9:42 am

    It is interesting that Starbucks now has to pander to the lunatic fringe that are unsure of their manhood and need to carry a piece as an extension of what evidently that don’t have otherwise. Too bad.
    This whole gun rights thing has become so political it is disgusting. Having grown up in Upstate New York which has always disallowed “carry,” I note that for the most part the crime statistics in those areas are still substantially lower than in places such as Florida where many of these crackpots go.

  8. 10 greg furrier March 3, 2010 at 10:16 am

    to buy a gun you must pass a federal background check and have no criminal history, no felon would carry a gun in public. anybody you happen to see with a gun in a starbucks would have passed the federal background check and has a clean background, so seeing a gun should not worry anybody, it should validate the fact that the person carrying the gun is not a criminal of any sort.

  9. 11 Leslie Resnik March 3, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Duh!! No firearms anywhre!

    • 12 Shaw Overstreet March 3, 2010 at 11:37 am

      Hey Leslie, I saw a man stop a woman from being beaten and robbed at knife point from a concerned citizen carrying a gun. What say you now?

  10. 13 Steve March 3, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Resposible CCW patrons are standing beside you everyday-protecting your rights from those who want to do you harm. Bravo for Starbucks, other restaurants need to take heed.

  11. 14 Astrid March 3, 2010 at 10:47 am

    It is a great idea to allow people to carry their guns.. Anyone that is going to use a gun to hurt someone else in Starbucks is going to be either a robber or a crazy maniac… how many of those are going to obey the no-gun rule inside Starbucks or ANY other venue!

    People that own guns (legally) and have the license to carry concealed have been through a FBI background check and can be traced by the gun serial number through the store receipt. No gun owner would be willing to go through all that to then show up in public and steal/kill. There are cameras and traces. Again, the person has to want to be caught, and that person is a crazy person who would not respect any rule.

    Look at numbers of deaths by poison….

    Your chances that a law-abiding citizen with a gun will do less harm to you than the food being cooked in the back is higher than your initial logic allows you to think.

    Further more, anyone that is comfortable enough to carry gun (not many people) is usually because they have trained how to shoot and be safe with the gun. Gun safety is priority. Countries like Switzerland, a neutral and peaceful nation during the worse 2 world wars) require citizens to have guns as part of their militia.

    The two most important gun rules:
    1. There is no such thing as an unloaded gun.
    2. Never point at anything you wouldn’t want to get shot.

  12. 15 Berny March 3, 2010 at 11:20 am

    I actually thought it was the case at Starbucks, as there were no signs prohibiting CCW in our locale.
    Not a carry person myself, I still feel safer knowing that the grandma next to me have some java jolt is on guard if a crazed crack head comes in and doesn’t like their joe, and draws.
    No big deal.

  13. 16 mmmkit March 3, 2010 at 11:21 am

    This is in Texas, and carrying fireams is relatively common. People carry guns. What makes Starbucks establishment any different than other franchises/businesses where people are allowed to carry a firearm in Texas?

    What is this article about, and what is the motivation behind it?

  14. 17 Darwyn Harp March 3, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Simple fact: Cities with the most restrictive gun control laws have the highest level of violent crime (take a look at New York City and Washington DC crime stats). Cities with the least restrictive gun control laws have fewer violent crime issues. Conclusion: Criminals are not the smartest people in the world generally, but they know how to calculate simple odds, and they don’t like getting shot.

  15. 19 RC March 3, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Ok this is a no brainer. For all you fat head big ass people who are against guns pull your head out. Not only do you need approval from the D.O.G. to buy a gun you need approval from the local Police / Sheriff dept if you want to carry a concealed weapon, a CCW permit. I see it like this, better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it!

  16. 20 Chris March 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    As a corporation, I would find it hard to justify alienating people that subscribe to this “culture” of carrying firearms, especially in regions where it is customary. It is a legal and socially acceptable activity in these communities. I can only commend Starbucks for adapting so well with local cultures that they would accept such behavior within their realm.

    On a personal note, I also could not justify discriminating against those who legally carry firearms. I do, however, feel safer by avoiding them.

  17. 21 Tahitijack March 3, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I don’t mind legal firearms in SBUX, but at the risk of taking this down a different path…what does bother me is the folks that bring their dog into a restaurant or retail store.

  18. 22 TPS March 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Yes. If it is legal in that state and the individual carrying the firearm is educated on how to handle it and is following all of the rules and abiding by all the laws.

  19. 23 LW March 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    First, to uninformed LG, people do rob gun stores!!!

    Second, I do not mind people carrying a hand gun if the really are well educated and trained (know when to shoot, can determine who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in an instant, and hit their target).

    The license is to carry, not necessarily to shoot. “I shot someone because I was scared”, but not in any danger, is no excuse—the shooter still deserves 20 to life.

    Unless, i guess, the other person is carrying a gun. Then since the “victim” does not know if the other person is a good guy or bad guy I guess shooting the other person, if they scare you,–like look real mean, is OK.

    Ah Starbucks and the OK Corral

  20. 24 Ken Simons March 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I can see that Firearms is a hotter subject than what TJ Maxx expansion plans are. I was in Phoenix waiting for a client at a Starbucks in a pretty nice upscale center. A lady walked in with a sidearm attached to her waist. Being from California I was a little taken back. But that was they way they roll in Arizona. I finished my coffee and would go back. I did notice a diamond design on the holster….Interesting.

  21. 25 Astrid March 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm


    If you don’t like a dog in a public space, stay at home or/and stay away from leashed or caged dog.

    I personally don’t like cigarrettes smoke. So I go closed venues where it is prohibited or in smoking open venues ask to move or sit at an area where the wind doesn’t blow smoke my way.

    Ones mans hero is another’s sinner. CANT PLEASE EVERYBODY.

    Thats why there is a CONSTITUTION and FREE WILL.


  22. 26 Chris March 3, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I am more comfortable with people being allowed to bring guns. This way, good people can protect themselves and others. Someone who wants to do harm with their gun isnt going to worry about the rules of the retailer. They will bring a gun either way. Why punish the good and protect the evil? Makes no sense.

  23. 27 Small Private Landlord March 3, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    90% of the time I walk out of my house I am carrying a subcompact (laymans terms: very small) concealed 9mm pistol, with a round chambered/hammer locked/saftey on which is the only responsible way to carry (proven fact that the window of opportunity is not large enough in most dangerous situations to allow even a trained individual to chamber a round, aquire the target, and diffuse the situation before being neutralized prematurely by the assailant) in a pocket holster and nobody other than me ever knows it. Those of us who are trained and responsible will be there when everyone else needs us, firearms in tow. The only reason most folks fear people like us is because they are uneducated on the topic and wouldn’t know what to do with a pistol themselves if they needed it to save their life, thus we get the fear of the unknown. It is idiots like Plaxico Buress and that moron from the Washington Wizards that scew this conversation in many peoples’ mind, which is unfortunate. There is no question that given two people to choose from, side by side and all else being equal, that a robber/violent criminal, would far prefer to attack the person who does not possess a firearm for protection than the person who does possess and know how to use a firearm. The fact is that perfect bliss (i.e. Heaven) exists only in the afterlife. In this life we need deterants to protect ourselves from these criminals which in many cases are firearms. These are people that do not understand reason in this world the way most of us would like for them to and as such, in unfortunate circumstances, we are forced to act with or without weapons to protect ourselves and others. I personally want every chance I can possibly have against someone or something that is trying to do harm to me or others.

  24. 28 The Old Guy March 3, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    The question needs to be boiled down to “concealed” or “unconcealed.” I would hope I could take my grandchild into a Starbucks for a hot chocolate without having the child frightened by someone with a big (to the child) gun on their hip. For goodness sake put the evidence of your “rights” into a purse, bag, backpack, or lock it in the trunk of your car for the time it takes to buy and drink a cup of coffee. Take a moment to think about those around you. Then exercise your rights and freedom of will to choose not to take your weapon everywhere for the sake of someone else.

  25. 29 Steve M March 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I am not at all troubled by lawabiding citizens openly carrying firearms on their person if state law allows it. Moreover, I am totally in favor of individuals having concealed carry licenses of carrying a concealed firearm whereever they are able. In crime prone areas this sends a signal to the thugs who would perpetrate an attack on a victim. It would cause them to think seriously about losing their life by instigating an attack on their victims. Keep the carrying of guns by the lawabiding safe and secure.

  26. 30 Art Tom March 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    If were up to Leslie Reznick, none of us would have firearms and we’d all still be eating kidney pie, still singing God Save the Queen and have bad teeth. But we should be thankful some brave folks in our past had guns and the courage to use them, so that Leslie now has the right to speak freely and openly display how intolerant, misguided and ignorant she is. I, too, wonder why this article was allowed to take up valuable space on the website. From the comments it appears the “blogger” (not journalist) is out of touch with mainstream, hard-working and self-reliant Americans.

  27. 31 Denis March 3, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Excuse me !!!

    I thought the Law was the impartial set of rules that a society chose to live by. (

    Of course, I mean American society because we actually do still get to chose here – for the time being.

    As long as I am meeting the requirement of the Law, then what I do is absolutely none of your business. Just as whatever you chose to do within the limits of the Law is absolutely none of my business.

    What right does a “Corporation” have to over-rule the Rule of Law?

    The headlines from the last 12 months demonstrate it is pure magical thinking to believe that a Corporation can even regulate themselves.

    So how could any thinking person willingly subjugate their own free choice to a Corporation?

    That is not “subjugation” it is “abdication” and a demonstration that we do not have the collective intellect or moral fibre to make choices for ourselves and that as a society we do not deserve the right to live in a Democracy.


  28. 32 NotGunShy March 5, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    I AM A GUN OWNER, HOWEVER, in light of it permitting persons to come into Starbucks stores with guns, I will NO LONGER PATRONIZE ITS STORES.
    My friends are telling me they will no longer patronize these stores. There may be parts of the country where this might be acceptable, but I don’t believe it is appropriate in metropolitan areas especially, but we won’t go into a store anywhere where guns are permitted.
    We are going to spend our money in establishments where we feel comfortable.
    I suggest that the company failed to do the math – does it have more gun carrying customers or more customers who feel uncomfortable at the thought? (Did anyone think to do market research on the issues?) If I were a shareholder I would sue the company for failing to take into consideration the potential impact the company’s decision to allow guns in its stores will have on the value of the company (and my stock) because of the loss of patronage.
    Peet’s will get my business and that of my friends.

  29. 33 paper cups April 23, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Did anyone else see the Daily Show with John Stewart do a parody of this story? genius

  1. 1 Tim Horton’s Takes on America « Counter Culture Trackback on March 8, 2010 at 7:56 am

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