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Coffee City

Melissa Allison follows the world's biggest coffee-shop chain and other Seattle caffeine purveyors.

February 9, 2010 at 3:40 PM

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Brady Campaign circulates petition to keep guns out of Starbucks

Posted by Melissa Allison

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is asking people to sign a petition telling Starbucks to keep guns out of its shops, because they say they can't get a straight answer out of the Seattle company about its gun policy. The petition has more than 15,000 signatures.

"Our California activists are responding to the activities of Open Carry activists in the Bay Area, who noticed Open Carry demonstrations at Peet's, California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks," said Doug Pennington, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign. describes itself as "a pro-gun Internet community focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life." They sometimes meet in public places to exercise their right to carry unconcealed guns.

When the Brady Campaign asked each company for its gun policies, Peet's Coffee and California Pizza Kitchen promptly issued notices that guns are not allowed -- either at all or on display -- in their shops unless you're a police officer.

Starbucks hasn't done that. "So far, Starbucks hasn't said what seems to be an obvious kind of policy, that 'no guns are allowed in our stores unless you're a police officer,'" Pennington said.

In a written statement, the company said, "For Starbucks, the safety of our customers and partners is our paramount concern. We have existing security protocols in place to handle situations related to safety in our stores. We will continue to adhere closely to local, state and federal laws and the counsel of law enforcement regarding this issue."

Based on that, it's hard to know whether Starbucks allows guns in shops or not. But if it's going strictly by the law, then in many states including Washington, it does allow unconcealed firearms.

Update 2/10/2010: Politics aside, this submission in the comment string is hilarious: "Clint Eastwood voice: I know what your thinkin'. Did I have six shots of espresso or only 5? Well, being that I'm really wired up now and have a nervous itchy trigger finger, just ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky?.......Well do you punk?"

Update 2/11/2010: The petition now has more than 25,000 signatures, and check out the Los Angeles Times' editorial cartoon about the issue.

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