Thank you for contacting Starbucks Coffee Company.
I want to give you some insight into why we think this is the best approach for us to take.
As your comments demonstrate, there is genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws and we respect that. However, our long-standing approach to this issue has not changed. Like many national retailers, we comply with local laws in the communities we serve. That means abiding by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states. Where such laws don't exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited.
However, recent events led us to take a hard look to see if we should change our approach. It was important that we examine it from the perspective of partner (employee) and customer safety. Our analysis and subsequent decision was based on years of experience and on insight from our store partners. We also consulted law enforcement for their views and will continue to do so.
In the end, we determined that following local laws is the best approach for us. Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores. Although advocacy groups from both sides of this issue want to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions, we do not think our partners or our stores belong in the middle of this debate. We believe that the political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.
I hope you understand our rationale and will respect we have made this decision on principles in the interest of our people and customers. We will review our procedures on an ongoing basis to ensure the highest safety guidelines are in place and will continue to work closely with law enforcement. Sadly, we have had our own experiences with the tragedy of gun violence, and as such, are committed to do everything in our control to keep our people and customers safe.