November 2, 2010

Dear Mr. Burgess:

As we spoke on the phone today I wanted to personally welcome you back into our Starbucks location in Old Saybrook, CT as well as all of our locations. I have included our position on carrying guns in our stores below.

Again I apologize for the treatment from our Baristas to you and want to thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.


Starbucks Position on Open Carry Gun Laws 
(updated March 16, 2010)

We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions. 

While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged. We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve. That means we abide by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states. Where these laws don’t exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited. The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores. 

At the same time, we have a security protocol for any threatening situation that might occur in our stores. Partners are trained to call law enforcement as situations arise. We will continuously review our procedures to ensure the highest safety guidelines are in place and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement.

We have examined this issue through the lens of partner (employee) and customer safety. 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, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position. 

As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue. As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society. Our Starbucks family knows all too well the dangers that exist when guns are used irresponsibly and illegally. Without minimizing this unfortunate reality, we believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers. 
Sincerely,
Alison Perreault