Tags: sandy | hook | starbucks | guns

Conn. Democrats Lobby Starbucks to Enact Gun Ban

Monday, 02 Sep 2013 11:12 PM

By Matthew Auerbach

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Three Connecticut Democrats have joined the campaign requesting Starbucks prohibit firearms in their shops nationwide, reports the Hill.

A recent letter, composed by victims of December's shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School asking Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to help "foster a culture of peace and ban guns from your stores,” was endorsed by Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Esty.

According to the letter, the Starbucks gun policy, which permits customers to carry firearms, including concealed weapons, "undermines the safety and well-being of our citizens.”

The Starbucks policy is in accordance with local laws.

"[T]o prevent another Sandy Hook, we as a society must prioritize the sanctity of human life over the individual’s 'right to carry,'" the letter reads.

Schultz has been asked by the gun control advocates to sit down with them at the Starbucks in Newtown to discuss the issue.

Responding to the letter last weekend, Schultz telephoned Gilles Rousseau, father of Sandy Hook victim Lauren Rousseau, who was a teacher at Sandy Hook, and a Starbucks barista.

According to Po Murray, vice chairman of the Newtown Action Alliance, an advocacy group involved with creating the letter, the two had "a nice conversation," but Schultz stopped short of committing to a meeting with the advocates.

Nothing's firm," Murray said.

"We would love Howard Schultz to come to Newtown."

Jaime Riley, a spokeswoman for Starbucks, defended the company's gun policy, arguing that it should be up to legislators and not the coffee chain to decide what restrictions, if any, are necessary on gun possession.

"Gun violence is an issue we take very seriously," Riley said.

Gun control advocates find hypocrisy in Starbucks policy on firearms, citing that its employees are not allowed to carry guns and question why there's such a discrepancy between workers and customers.

When it's their safety, they care a little bit more," one gun control advocate charged this week.

In response, Riley said "safety is certainly a consideration" in the company's ban on employees carrying guns.

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