Starbucks Requests No Guns

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Starbucks Coffee Store, Boston (Dimitri N/flickr)

The coffee chain is running full-page ads in major newspapers, asking customers to not bring their guns to Starbucks. Paul Barrett, editor at Bloomberg and author of Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, explains the relationship between the coffee chain and concealed carry laws. What do you think about Starbucks' request that guns not be carried into stores?


Paul Barrett

Comments [77]

Janice from Boston

The news about Starbucks and guns caught a lot of people by surprise. Who knew that the guy at the counter waiting for his half-caf vanilla latte could be packing heat?
In fact, nearly every state (red to blue, it makes no difference) throws its bar and restaurant doors open to gun-toting customers.

Sep. 19 2013 03:45 PM
ACP29 from Maine

I am more nervous about the people around me who have concealed guns. If I can see the gun openly I know who to stay away from. That said, I agree that there is absolutely no reason for people to go about with guns. Too many people, too many children, die every day.

I also think it IS a good idea to talk about the so-called culture and if Americans really want an instrument of death to be a cultural icon. Idol is more like it. I live in a rural state and there are so many wonderful things about country life and culture that have nothing to do with guns.

Sep. 19 2013 12:17 PM
Brooklyn_Mom from NYC

Things can get pretty "Hot" in a crowded Starbucks at 8:50am & I am not talking about Lattes! Last winter me and this "guy" almost had a brawl over a very limited amount of space. thankfully I am a 115 lb female and those surrounding him told him, 'Dude stop being a jerk.' Imagine the same scene in a gun slinging branch outside the city - I could have blown away! Frankly, I think gun permits should be tied to testosterone levels - that would pretty much ban all males age 12-40-something (and IMO make this country a safer place).

Sep. 19 2013 11:57 AM

@ BK from Hoboken:

Screed, Screed, Screed

Your version of current events is about as accurate as Mr. Lehrer's.

The contretemps over "open carry" began when anti-gun patrons of Starbucks tried to pressure Starbucks to ban carrying guns into Starbucks in states where such was legal. Starbucks resisted that pressure citing the local laws. Gun owners and their sympathizers created a "spike-the-football" moment by (over) publicizing the incident as a victory for "Gun Rights"; and thus the metastasizing contest of dueling counter-demonstrations commenced.
"Not good for business" was the opinion of Mr. "No Names" who folded to the pressure and "requested" "open carriers" not to enter his stores.

I'm thinking other "requests" will follow.


Sep. 19 2013 11:50 AM
chem_s from NJ

True Story: I was raised by a paranoid schizophrenic and suffered daily physical abuse from birth to 21 yrs of age along with both of my siblings one of whom left for the west the other who lives close by. The one that lives close by worked their ass off to get a permit to carry, two years because of their having a record... it's a shame that my sibling wasn't this motivated to graduate high school... anyway, they have many guns; shot guns, weapons of all kinds. They are very into hunting, which is cool, but I'm sure the reason they feel the need to carry is due to the trauma experienced throughout our childhood... What worry's me is that my children visit often, they're old enough to go there on their own.. and the guns are just everywhere, my sibling lives with a partner who has a young adult child living with them that has been diagnosed with bi-polar disorder... If anything happens (I pray everyday about this) no laws would have been broken, it will be just another tragedy brought on by mental illness...

Sep. 19 2013 11:19 AM
Papineau LaPeaupeau from Manhattan

Wow, is Starbucks really that dangerous that you need to carry a gun when you stop in for a cup of coffee? Maybe they should install metal detectors and have the baristas carry heavy artillery, that way when the gunfire breaks out, the customers will be saved by gun-wielding heroes.

I guess I'll go to Dunkin' Donuts from now on. How many people have been slaughtered in Starbucks vs Dunkin' Donuts? Does anyone have the numbers? Just trying to figure my odds of being shot while buying my morning coffee.

Sep. 19 2013 11:10 AM

Requesting that guns not be carried into a store is nothing new.

Have any of you been to Memphis, TN? I went two years ago and the one thing I noticed on the doors of many stores and businesses in the downtown area in Memphis was the sign "No Guns Allowed".

Sep. 19 2013 11:06 AM

THANK YOU BIOLOGY, for creating men with teeny-tiny penises!

Love, The Gun Manufacturers.

Sep. 19 2013 11:06 AM


"To say that anyone who carries a gun is a loose cannon is just not fair."

Unless you can guarantee that everyone who carries a gun isn't, it's safer for everyone if they don't carry one at all.

and, Unless you can guarantee that everyone isn't a public safety threat, it's safer for everyone if they're treated as if they are.



Sep. 19 2013 11:01 AM
Ronni Sander from Pound Ridge, NH

If you are near me with a gun openly displayed, it makes me nervous. Because of the lack of gun safety laws in the nation, I have no sense of security or assurance that you are not a felon, a domestic abuser, mentally ill, didn't buy your gun at an unregulated gun show, or were subject to any background check whatsoever. As lawyer, I believe the 2nd Amend. has been badly misinterpreted. But I strongly support individual rights, and uniform background checks and enforcement of gun safety laws would futher protect and enure both your rights and mine.

Sep. 19 2013 10:58 AM
Stacy from Manhattan

I'm so tired of being told that I need to be sensitive to the supposedly indigenous culture of the "west." I grew up in the "heartland" in the 1960s and 1970s, and while it was common for people to own and use guns (hunting, skeet shooting), absolutely NO ONE ever walked around openly carrying a gun into a coffee shop, restaurant, pharmacy, and the like. It would have been seen universally as completely insane. There are just two related reasons why people today do this: they want to intimidate others and they want to show their disapproval of the current President and all that he represents for them. This is not a long-standing part of U.S. culture, and don't let anyone like Paul Barrett convince you otherwise. There is no reason why anyone needs to coddle these bullies and their racist, treasonous agenda.

Sep. 19 2013 10:56 AM
BK from Hoboken

@ GeTaylor
The point is, due to NRA, any sort of mandatory gun training, minimum age requirements, and/or background checks have been blocked. Funny thing is, only about 6-8 years ago Wayne LaPierre supported the more stringent background checks that he now opposes. Much like healthcare individual mandates (remember Hillary care and Republicans who demanded personal responsibility via individual mandate?), this is a result of the rightward shift in American politics that at least partially is the reaction to the election of a dark skinned man as president.

Sep. 19 2013 10:55 AM

"To say that anyone who carries a gun is a loose cannon is just not fair."

Unless you can guarantee that everyone who carries a gun isn't, it's safer for everyone if they don't carry one at all.

Sep. 19 2013 10:52 AM

I'm wearing my "THANK YOU, Starbucks, FOR ENCOURAGING CONCEALED_CARRY" button when I go there this afternoon. ;-)

Sep. 19 2013 10:51 AM

Mass Shooting Odds from the Federalist Society.

Odds that those statistic were pulled out of a Gun Nut's a@@ = 100%

Sep. 19 2013 10:41 AM
Betsy from NYC

So you just leave the gun in the car then and wait for it to be stolen by someone whose purpose can be much more evil than trying to protect oneself?
Sure the gunowner may be trying to compensate for who knows what by flaunting their weapon, but it does not make them mentally unstable to use it in a malicious way. To say that anyone who carries a gun is a is a loose cannon is just not fair. New Yorkers need to realize that their viewpoint on anti-guns is the exception to the rest of the country, not the rule.
Don't you need to get a permit for conceal and carry? Most psychopaths won't bother with that process.

Sep. 19 2013 10:40 AM

BK from Hoboken
She had no training. Gotta love 'merica and our gun culture.

NOT an incident addressed by the Starbucks ban on "concealed carry".
Probably more appropriate for a discussion of "minimum legal age" or "mandatory training" requirements.

Sep. 19 2013 10:39 AM
Arturo Fortoul

I think you'll be surprised to find some of the state's that have a no open carry law: TX, FL, IL, AR, SC

Sep. 19 2013 10:36 AM
Elizabeth from Brooklyn

Bill Maher said it so well. Gun love, and the need to carry your gun with you, everywhere you go, is a vice. Pure and Simple. A vice - the way smoking is a vice, the way drinking is a vice. Do not equate carrying a device that's sole purpose is to kill something with asserting your civil rights. It's not the same. And if you can't feel safe walking into a Starbucks to buy a coffee without having your gun on you, then you are definitely not someone I trust to have a gun on them.

Sep. 19 2013 10:33 AM
Roy from Queens

@Sheldon from Brooklyn You've proven my point about the "Wild West" mentality. None of those in the DC Navy Yard expected a man to undermine the security of their workplace. Paranoid is toxic, and it gets people killed.

Sep. 19 2013 10:32 AM

Mass shooting odds
As the number of armed citizens approaches 8%, the likelihood of a mass shooter encountering armed resistance in a crowd of 60 people approaches 100%. John Lott
Thursday 1/31/2013 Federalist Society, Mineola, NY

Sep. 19 2013 10:30 AM

I just don't understand the cognitive dissonance... Guns are instruments of injury and death. That's what they were invented to do, that's their point of existence even if you factor in skeet shooting (shattering/destroying clay disk evolving from hunting) they are made to do violence. Of course it would cause hyper-vigilance in a body seeing it on another body we have no knowledge of or control of... duh... I mean seriously? And that's just not fun in a caffeinated body, not fun at all...

Sep. 19 2013 10:29 AM

Before the audience gets the wrong impression..."Concealed carry" is only legal for those with a 'permit to carry'. If you are carrying a firearm and DO NOT HAVE carry permit you can be charged with a misdemeanor...under the right circumstances even a felony.

Sep. 19 2013 10:29 AM
darla from Manhattan, NY

How many of the people that feel the need to carry their guns into starbucks or anywhere else are female??? Let's be honest! This is a male issue. They need their extra penis!

Sep. 19 2013 10:29 AM
Michael Bardin from San Francisco, CA

this segment is an instance of journalism offering a false equivalence -- in this case "its healthy to want to carry a gun" "it's not healthy to want to carry a gun." the two sides are not equivalent, either morally, or from a public health perspective. the prevalence of guns is a public health disaster, and a moral atrocity.

i love this show, but the segment is a disappointment. giving this man a platform has drawn the BL show into a twilight zone of insanity.

Sep. 19 2013 10:28 AM
(other) Robert from NYC

Another danger is that someone else could take the gun from the person wearing it.

And those arguments about other things that might offend just don't quite cut it. Guns are unique because they are designed to kill people. Cleavage doesn't quite do that (well, ok, it could induce le petit mort).

Sep. 19 2013 10:27 AM
Ash in Chelsea

Doesn't this discussion raise the same issues as when one discusses countries and weapons of mass or minor distruction? Just substitute a country with a weapon for an individual with a weapon...

Sep. 19 2013 10:27 AM
Shawn from Brooklyn

Hand guns are tools designed for killing people, and are certainly more dangerous than cigarettes. I wouldn't patronize an establishment that allowed tobacco smoking, or where patrons openly carried weapons. Even if I don't believe that I will become an intentional target, the presence of firearms anywhere increases the likelihood that shots will be fired.

Sep. 19 2013 10:26 AM

The pro-carry view is not entirely about personal safety. Some proponents feel that violent crime is less likely in a setting where many folks are armed. (Whether that's correct or not is another question.)

Sep. 19 2013 10:25 AM
Trish from NJ

I don't understand. If people think that carrying guns make them safer, then why are places (countries) with higher gun population have higher gun violence than places with less gun populations have less gun violence?

Sep. 19 2013 10:25 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

@ s
"someone carrying openly is a form of intimidation. i have a right to go about my day without being subtly threatened. where there is a gun there is a risk of a gun going off."

Guns don't "go off", that's hollywood crap. Guns get carelessly (or maliciously) handled, with terrible results - but guns don't "go off" by themselves.

Sep. 19 2013 10:25 AM

Here's the new button: "Thanks Starbubucks - for encouraging "concealed carry"

Sep. 19 2013 10:25 AM
BK from Hoboken
She had no training. Gotta love 'merica and our gun culture.

Sep. 19 2013 10:24 AM
Roy from Queens

Why would anyone show-off their gun in a public place? Wouldn't a police officer be suspicious of that person? The "Wild West" mentality has got to go because no one's benefitting from it.

Sep. 19 2013 10:24 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Could you imagine, if some of the victims or patrons at the DC Navy Yard had a weapon on them, how many lives could have been saved?

Sep. 19 2013 10:24 AM

The aggregate statistics show the opposite. See Lott, J. "More Guns, Less Crime".

Sep. 19 2013 10:23 AM

victim's inevitable "couldn't protect myself" argument -- why Starbucks isn't banning guns outright.

Sep. 19 2013 10:23 AM
Otto Cosmopolis from Ridgefield NJ

Why do people need to flaunt guns? Intimidation. Guns change the power dynamic immediately.

Sep. 19 2013 10:22 AM
Joe from Brooklyn

Isn't the whole point of society that you give up some freedoms -- like carrying guns -- and let police have them to uphold the law in your place

Sep. 19 2013 10:22 AM

1) I'm sure PDA's by people of any sexual orientation are already discouraged by most stores.

2) If your gun is as much a part of your identity as your sexuality, what you need is to be treated by a psychiatrist, not to be coddled in your delusions.

Sep. 19 2013 10:21 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

Why is gun carried unconcealed in public? It says here is an “attitude” right in the public’s face. The carrier is a jerk. “ I am a threat “ say that statement.

Sep. 19 2013 10:21 AM
Sheldon from Brookyn

I'm not sure BK..., due in part to our dictator mayor, making it extremely difficult for law abiding citizens to acquire guns, we as (City) New Yorkers, rightfully may feel unnerved by civilians openly carrying weapons BUT it's more common in other parts of the country.

If it's constitutional, then so be it.

Sep. 19 2013 10:21 AM
Dave from Manhattan

The guest said that in many states openly carrying a firearm is considered normal with 'no symbolic punch'. That's rubbish. I totally disagress: openly carrying weapons always carries a symbolic meaning.

Sep. 19 2013 10:20 AM
Anne from Rutherford, NJ

Someone carrying a gun openly in a public place can be disarmed by someone who would use it for violence. I don't like open carry.

Sep. 19 2013 10:20 AM


having served your sanctimonious self, don' you think that the next step is to prevent "concealed carry" into public places? that will be the next frontier.

Sep. 19 2013 10:20 AM

someone carrying openly is a form of intimidation. i have a right to go about my day without being subtly threatened. where there is a gun there is a risk of a gun going off.

Sep. 19 2013 10:20 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

"...keep and bear..." is the clause in the Constitution and with this SCOTUS, non-concealed carry will become the law of the land. If you are a backer of the Second Amendment, you ought to believe it okay, too. We need to amend the Second Amendment. Can there be a clearer case?

@Martin -

You actually imagine hearing the show at 8AM in the morning?! Seek help.

Sep. 19 2013 10:20 AM
Bob from NYC

Cyndi ("People who need to flaunt a weapon are revealing how insecure they are and how small their penises are.") -- YES!

Sep. 19 2013 10:20 AM
David from Fredericksburg, VA

What the guest just said shows the problem we constantly have when discussing guns - ignorance.

The guest just said, why don't you conceal your weapon? Because, unless you have a concealed carry permit, that is a crime.

Open carry is legal by default, no law is needed to allow it. A law must be made that forbids open carry before it becomes illegal.

It would be very helpful if the "experts" that speak on these issues actually understood the subject.

Sep. 19 2013 10:20 AM
carolita from NYC

You know why I don't want to see people with guns on their hips in Starbucks? (Or anywhere?) Because how can you tell the difference between some guy who just wants to prove his point, or a guy who thinks he looks really cool with it, and a guy who came to Starbucks to kill the girl who just dumped him?
It's threatening. That's very simple, isn't it?

Sep. 19 2013 10:18 AM
Robert from NYC

I'm uncomfortable seeing anybody carry a gun in the street. I don't want to see firearms on anybody and anywhere. There is no compromise Brian, are we civilized or not! Do we really have to have folks flaunt guns all day and everywhere. Bullcrap to this guy.

Sep. 19 2013 10:18 AM
dz from Manhattan

How can you compare carrying a gun into a starbucks to dressing revealingly? Revealing skin threatens no-one's life. Would people take so lightly someone walking with a machete into a starbucks? Though bigger, it is a less lethal weapon. Why the apology from Howard Schulz? This is not a politics issue, this is a security issue.

Sep. 19 2013 10:18 AM
Mick from Inwood

Why is it wrong for restaurants and retail establishments to declare "No shoes, No shirt, No Service!" and not say "No open guns!" Self expression in dress is a First Amendment right that we have accepted to restrain for mutual psychological comfort. I,personally, don't want to get caught in a crossfire if a methhead comes in and tries to rob a store I am patronizing!

Sep. 19 2013 10:17 AM

Do all states that allow open carry also allow concealed carry? That are people carrying who want to enter the store supposed to conceal the weapon or find a safe place to stow it?

Sep. 19 2013 10:16 AM
JR from Manhattan

I like my coffee gun free.

And in the city, at least, people do bring their children into Starbucks.

Sep. 19 2013 10:16 AM
Clif from Manhattan

I'm gonna flaunt my gun in public places and then get all defensive when people get uncomfortable.

This is ridiculous! Further evidence that, as a human race, our priorities are simply misaligned and in disorder. This is a group of people (or any people taking this mental stance) that are lost in their own minds. They cannot differentiate between what they want and what is appropriate in any given context. It's a chicken/egg situation: does the gun reinforce the ego or does the fragile ego necessitate a gun?

I think once we become more compassionate and balanced people will not feel the need for guns anymore.

I also agree with previous comments that if these people started shooting a "bad guy" that they would probably end up hurting/killing innocent people.

Sep. 19 2013 10:16 AM
karl from Brooklyn

Substitute "guns" for "Gays" and Starbucks would never have made the statement. Would anyone ask "why does someone need to show that they are gay?" Should Starbucks ask gays to hold off on PDAs in places where people are uncomfortable with it?

Sep. 19 2013 10:15 AM

Possibly a simple legal calculation.

By refusing to ban guns outright, Starbucks sidesteps the (inevitable) lawsuit by someone who gets shot -- then argues that if only he had been allowed to carry a gun he could have defended himself.

Sep. 19 2013 10:15 AM
Connie from NJ

Most places of business ask that people leave their dogs outside. Dog owners aren't offended, for the most part.

Sep. 19 2013 10:15 AM
David from New York

I do not want to bring my children to a coffee shop with armed patrons. There have two cases, at StarBucks where guns have accidentally discharged. It is the presence of guns that is the main problem and not the flaunting of them. I don't believe that NRA members are actively hunting for liberals but I do believe that guns, even handled by owners of the best intention, are dangerous.

Sep. 19 2013 10:13 AM
BK from Hoboken

Every business has a right to ban guns, smoking, whatever from their establishment. "No shirt No shoes No service" right? This is no different. You don't have a right to carry your gun into private businesses.

Sep. 19 2013 10:12 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


Thanks for making my point about the predictable self-righteous audience here.


Sep. 19 2013 10:12 AM

re; the last one ever killed anyone with cleavage.

Sep. 19 2013 10:12 AM

25 states allow open carry, but many of them require a permit for concealed carry.

Sep. 19 2013 10:11 AM
Allison from Queens

Problem with guns in coffee shops is it explicitly opens possibility of extreme behavior vs the implicit possibility of behavior.

Yes, sometimes overly offensive dress is inappropriate - i.e., cocktail dress at Mass or KKK outfit at AME church (or nearly anywhere).

Sep. 19 2013 10:11 AM

Cleavage = Guns?

Does the caller have a paralyzing phobia of being smothered to death by especially abundant cleavage?

Sep. 19 2013 10:11 AM

To the guy who just said "why can't everybody decide to shut out anyone who does anything they don't like" can I just say that cleavage is not potentially lethal?

Sep. 19 2013 10:10 AM
Bob from NYC

Caller Nick's question is not on point -- even if a customer's outfit is offensive (too much cleavage was the example he gave), that outfit doesn't have the potential to KILL YOU.

Sep. 19 2013 10:10 AM

Starbucks is a private business and can refuse service for whatever reason, right?

Sep. 19 2013 10:10 AM
Sara from Bushwick

Anyone who that is not a cop that feels the need to flaunt a weapon in a coffee shop is probably mentally unstable and therefore could do anything. What if their milk isn't properly frothed, are they going to lose it and shoot the barista, or threaten them?

Sep. 19 2013 10:09 AM
Cyndi from Brooklyn

People who need to flaunt a weapon are revealing how insecure they are and how small their penises are.

Sep. 19 2013 10:09 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I believe that law abiding citizens, have a right to bear and carry legal arms.

I also believe that private businesses have a right to decide which customers they want to serve - provided, they don't violate any discriminatory laws.

Sep. 19 2013 10:07 AM

I hope this doesn't mean they're pulling their Mean Hillbilly Blend off the menu!

It's a quite mild blend that can nevertheless be relied upon to go off when you least expect it.

Sep. 19 2013 10:07 AM
David Erickson from Brooklyn

The NYPD just shot 2 innocent bystanders in Times Square and those guys are trained. How am I supposed to know that the person who is carrying at getting a coffee at Starbucks is going to be competent enough not to shoot the wrong person??

Sep. 19 2013 10:06 AM


Tell that to the Navy families who are burying their loved ones whose lives were snuffed out by gun violence.
Your faux objections ring hollow. Completely.

Sep. 19 2013 09:50 AM

Isn't this Starbucks Guy the "No-Name-Just-Solutions" partisan?
I guess he thinks this is a solution to the armed robbery problem that has afflicted his commercial establishments, especially those located in economically disadvantaged urban areas.

Sep. 19 2013 08:57 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Good heavens, what a if you're going to get an interesting discussion on this really transgressive concept from the "amen chorus" that is THIS crowd, LOL. What a straw man, Mr. Producer.

Wait(!) ...... No, here's a call from Seth in Williamsburg who wants to take his Glock 19 into his favorite mug shop and, darn, he can't anymore. And here is Abigail from Tribeca who wants to be able to put her Beretta holster on the outside of her cashmere sweater and resents this restriction of her freedoms!

Sep. 19 2013 07:58 AM

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