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Dear Starbucks, Most People Don't Want Guns in Your Stores

WASHINGTON -- A solid majority of Americans favor Starbucks and other retail establishments establishing strict “no guns” policies for their retail premises. The numbers are dramatically more pronounced among women who say the current policy allowing guns makes them fear for their safety. This data comes from a new poll conducted for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Details of the Starbucks related polling were released today in Seattle in partnership with Washington Ceasefire.

“Retailers - especially Starbucks - who allow guns in stores risk losing business,” said Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners, which conducted the national poll of 600 registered voters April 26-28. 

Fifty-six percent of those polled want Starbucks to adopt a “no guns” policy on their premises while only 31 percent opposed such a policy. Of those who support a “no guns” policy, 42 percent were strongly in favor. 

Among women, the results of the poll should be viewed as alarming for Starbucks. Sixty-three percent of women favor Starbucks adopting a “no guns” policy for their premises, including 69 percent of Democratic women and 60 percent of rural women. 

A full 47 percent of women - and 57 percent of women who identify themselves as Democrats, 54 percent of older women and 52 percent of women of color - said they were less likely to go to Starbucks because of the policy. About a third of women (32 percent) said they were “much less likely” to go to Starbucks because of the policy.

Among those polled, 37 percent are less likely to go to a Starbucks because of the chain’s current policy allowing the open carry of firearms, with only 15 percent more likely to go to Starbucks.

Forty-six percent of respondents said it would make no difference - but this includes people who don’t go to Starbucks, or don’t even drink coffee.

“When it comes to guns in its stores, Starbucks needs to wake up and smell the coffee,” said Dennis Henigan, Vice President for Law and Policy at the Brady Center. “The public does not support the company’s policy of allowing guns in its stores and the feeling is especially strong among women. When a third of women say that its gun-friendly policy makes them ‘much less likely’ to visit Starbucks, the company is risking the loss of a huge part of its market.”

“These numbers validate our original thinking that Starbucks' failure to stand up to the gun groups is bad for business,” said Ralph Fascitelli, President of the Board of Washington Ceasefire. “Their timid response on this issue has been disappointing to say the least.”

Even gun owners support a “no guns” policy for Starbucks.

Forty-eight percent of gun owners want Starbucks to prohibit guns, while

37 percent oppose such a policy. Urban respondents favor a no guns policy by 27 points, suburban respondents by 30 points, and even rural residents prefer it by 18 points. 

The poll carries a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

Among the findings:

·     Republicans favor Starbucks barring guns 50-37; political

independents want a “no guns” policy at Starbucks 55-30; men favor a “no guns” policy 48-34; rural residents favor “no guns” 52-33 and non-college graduates favor a “no guns” policy at Starbucks 56-30.

·     Fully 49 percent of non-gun owners and 47 percent of older

Americans say they are less likely to go to Starbucks because of the policy allowing guns. And 65 percent of people who don’t own a gun want Starbucks to change its policy.

Yesterday, the Brady Center released additional information from the poll, showing that more Americans feel unsafe knowing people can carry guns openly in public than feel safer - and a third feel much less safe with that knowledge. Half of those polled said that the open carrying of guns in public make them feel less safe, with 31 percent saying they feel much less safe. And 63 percent of women say open carry make them feel less safe. 

Paul Helmke, the Brady President, is scheduled to speak to news media in Charlotte, North Carolina tomorrow (Friday, May 14), the site of the National Rifle Association annual meeting featuring speakers including Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. The time and location of that press briefing will be announced separately.

A broader set of the polling data is available at:

The controversy about the open carrying of firearms began early this year when groups of gun activists began gathering at coffee houses and restaurants - primarily in California, and including Starbucks locations

- with openly visible guns strapped to their hips. While some retail chains, including California Pizza Kitchen and Peet’s Coffee and Tea, responded by announcing firm “no guns” policies, Starbucks officials said they would allow guns in the company’s stores.

The Brady Campaign launched a petition online in February, in partnership with CREDO Action, asking Americans to urge Starbucks to bar guns from its stores. So far nearly 36,000 have signed. The Brady Campaign has also posted videos related to the Starbucks issue on its YouTube page. View them at

More information about “open carry,” including which states allow it, is at


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