Coffee cup in hand, gun in holster: Firearms advocates show appreciation to Starbucks

Gun control advocates note that Starbucks has no qualms about banning smoking in its coffeehouses, even in states where it is legal, but is fastidiously neutral on the question of guns. Guns are banned in the company’s corporate headquarters in Seattle, and the chain bars employees from carrying guns, even in open carry states.

But the company insists it will not take sides — pro or con — in the gun debate.

“These events are not endorsed by Starbucks. That said, our stores are gathering places for the communities we serve and we respect the diverse views of our costumers,” Starbucks spokesman Zach Hutson said in a phone interview. “We comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve, abiding by laws that permit ‘open carry.’”

Mr. Anderson, the gun rights activist, plans to go to Starbucks Friday with two or three colleagues. He said he is not looking to make a scene but enjoys supporting companies that support others.

“It’s a message: I love guns and coffee,” he said.

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