IT’S a relatively straightforward request.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has respectfully asked customers not to bring guns into their stores, following another mass shooting in the US this week which left 13 people dead.
The company plans to take out full page ads in national newspapers telling customers guns are no longer welcome, although it has stopped short of an outright ban.
But they clearly didn’t bank on the reaction, which has led huge numbers of angry gun activists to flood the company’s Facebook page, saying they don’t want a serve of politics along with their pecan pie.
“Oh how I did love my Caramel Macchiato. However, as a result of Starbucks decision to no longer recognise my 2nd Amendment rights as a legal Handgun Carry Permit holder, I think I’ve drank my last cup of delicious Starbucks coffee! Thanks,” Brandon Jarnigan wrote.
Val Simone said: “I VOW to never step into your stinking stores ever again. And I’m going to ask all my conceal carry friends to do the same,” while William Ingram urged a company-wide boycott.
“DONT BUY ANY PRODUCTS FROM THIS COMPANY UNTIL THEY STOP INFRINGING UPON OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS !!! BOYCOTT EVERYTHING STARBUCKS!!!!!!”
The move comes as Starbucks finds itself at the centre of a national gun debate, with activists on both sides choosing to hold demonstrations at its stores.
Gun rights advocates have turned up with firearms to hold “Starbucks Appreciation Days” while the company has been criticised by groups such as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America who want them to ban guns completely.
It’s a tricky line to navigate for Mr Schulz, who is responsible for more than $13 billion in annual revenue in 7000 stores across the country.
The letter, which will appear in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post will outline Mr Schultz’s position on the issue.
He said the company is neither pro- or anti-gun and the issue is up to policy makers to decide. Customers will still be served if they carry a weapon, but he wants the Starbucks Appreciation Days to stop and staff safety to be a priority.
The bold move has also gained them some support, with others taking to Facebook in support of the request.
Darrell Day posted “finally, you just gained a customer” while Kate Gomperts said: “Thanks for the new rules for no guns in stores, makes me feel much more welcome in your shops!”