Starbucks: No to Smoking, Yes to Guns

| by Dabney Bailey
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Starbucks has made waves with a controversial new policy that prohibits smoking but allows guns. It’s an odd ruling – for a company that makes millions off of caffeine cravings, one would think that the company would be more sympathetic to nicotine addictions.

Moms Demand Action points out another hypocrisy in the new Starbuck’s policy. The organization released a statement that reads, “In light of the epidemic of gun violence in America, as well as recent shootings at Starbucks stores, Moms Demand Action fails to see the logic in the company's determination that second-hand smoke is more dangerous to its customers than loaded guns.”

Starbucks has more reason than most to prohibit firearms in stores. Earlier in May, a woman was shot in a leg when a Starbucks patron dropped a purse that contained a loaded gun.

The coffee giant wasn’t about to let one incident affect national policy. The chain has refused to prohibit guns in any of its shops across the 43 states that allow citizens to openly carry firearms. Representatives from the company argue, "We comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve. Our long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged and we abide by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states. Where these laws don't exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited."

Moms Demand Action isn’t hearing it. The pro-gun control organization has started a petition drive to get gun control advocates to write letters to Starbucks asking that the company ban firearms. The group has created an online letter so that coffee-loving gun control advocates can express their distaste for the allegedly hypocritical policy.

The campaign might not make much of an impact. Gun rights supporters have rallied around Starbucks, and they have even gone so far as to announce a Gun Owners Support Starbucks Day, which took place earlier this year on Feb. 22.

Will the gun crowd make up for the lost business from angry pro-gun control citizens? Either way, Starbucks won’t need to bend over backwards to accommodate Moms Demand Action. With more than 7,000 stores across America, Starbucks can afford to lose a handful of customers.

Sources: Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, The Washington Post