FILE – Starbucks’ corporate headquarters is seen in this Monday, Jan. 26, 2009 file photo taken, in Seattle. Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms. The Seattle-based company plans to buy ad space in major national newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today on Thursday Sept. 19, 2013 to run an open letter from CEO Howard Schultz explaining the decision. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks has always set itself apart by taking strong positions on progressive political issues. Now that reputation has landed the company in the middle of the heated national debate over gun laws.
On Thursday, the Seattle-based company will run full-page ads in major newspapers, telling customers that guns are no longer welcome in its cafes. But Starbucks is stopping short of an outright ban, exposing the fine line it needs to walk on a highly divisive issue.
“We are not pro-gun or anti-gun,” CEO Howard Schultz said in an interview, noting that customers will still be served if they choose to a carry gun.
The move comes as the company finds itself at the center of a fight it didn’t start. In recent months, gun control advocates have been pressuring Starbucks to ban firearms, while supporters of gun rights have celebrated the company’s decision to defer to local laws. About a month ago, Starbucks shut down a store in Login to read more