Starbucks’ across the country are preparing for a showdown Friday, August, 9.
Gun activists plan on meeting and even rallying outside the coffee chain. Many are joining a Facebook group.
Here in Connecticut, a group from Connecticut Citizens Defense Leagues plans on meeting at the Starbucks in Newtown, not far from the tragic shooting in December.
Starbucks has an open policy regarding weapons at its establishments.
The group from CCDL said they are supporting Starbucks and their open policy and will likely have some coffee and tea and some will bring their weapons.
Matt Bottali from Ridgefield, CT said in a statement:
“I will be joining some Newtown residents and friends from CCDL who are in support of Starbucks neutral position on firearms in their stores. We appreciate Starbucks respecting our second amendment rights, and we wish to show our support for Starbucks in return.
We are just normal, every day folks out to get a cup of coffee or tea. No more, no less.”
In response several organization have come forward asking the group find another location. “That they’ve decided to come to Newtown where were are still grieving in my mind shows incredibly poor taste,” said Monte Frank with Newtown Action Alliance.
They’re calling for the group to find another location and they’re asking Starbucks to change their policy.
Unlike most establishments Starbucks allows customers to carry a weapon inside their stores as long as it’s not in violation of state law. Connecticut is an open carry state. As long as the person has a permit to carry, Starbucks will allow them to eat and drink inside with their weapon.
In response Zack Hutson, a spokesperson for Starbucks said:
“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 customers. We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding open carry weapon laws. Our long-standing approach to this topic remains unchanged. We comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve, abiding by laws that permit open carry. Where these laws don’t exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited.”
“I feel safer going into a Starbucks knowing that there is potentially lawful gun owners that are there to protect me as well as themselves,” said gun advocate, Bob Margolis. “This is an event going on across the country, I don’t think Newtown should be singled out,” he said.
Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is also asking Starbucks to change their policy.
The group plans on meeting at the Starbucks in Newtown at 6 p.m. Friday.