Armed and Caffeinated: Gun Owners Thank Starbucks - Corporate Intelligence - WSJ

February 22, 2013, 7:38 PM
Armed and Caffeinated: Gun Owners Thank Starbucks

By Leslie Josephs

Make that a double shot, because today is Gun Owners Support Starbucks Day.

In honor of the Second Amendment, gun owners’ groups in Virginia chose February 22 to give thanks to the Seattle-based coffee chain for allowing customers to carry guns in its stores, where local law permits it. The celebration comes as the national debate over gun control is reaching a peak.

On Valentine’s Day last year, the National Gun Victims Action Council launched a “Brew not Bullets” boycott against Starbucks, calling on consumers to stay away until the company bans guns and assault rifles from stores.

Gun owner and activist Ed Levine, the founder of Virginia Open Carry and a member of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, organized today’s event in response. “There’s crime all around and you never know where it’s going to be,” Mr. Levine said by telephone from a Starbucks, in Sterling, VA.

He said he was carrying a Colt Delta Elite pistol.

Starbucks defended its position. “Our rationale is that we deeply respect the views of our customers on both sides of the issue but believe that supporting local laws is the right way to ensure a safe environment for both our customers and employees,” a Starbucks spokesman told the WSJ.

“As the debate around this topic continues, we encourage customers to share their views with public officials.”