Brady Campaign Wants Guns Out of Starbucks

A Starbucks coffee shop begins to slow down early Tuesday evening just before closing it's doors early, Feb. 26, 2008, in Seattle. Starbucks, the world's largest gourmet coffee retailer, shut its doors for three-hour nationwide training sessions Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

A national pro-gun-control organization wants Starbucks to take a firm stance on whether it allows customers to carry unconcealed firearms in its stores.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence wants its members to sign a petition telling the international coffee company to keep guns out of its locations, according to The Seattle Times. The petition has more than 15,000 signatures, the newspaper reported.

The petition serves as a response to recent demonstrations organized by a group called OpenCarry.org, which describes itself as "a pro-gun Internet community focused on the right to openly carry properly holstered handguns in daily American life."

The group has held demonstrations at California Pizza Kitchen, Peet's Coffee and Starbucks locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, a Brady spokesman told the newspaper. California Pizza Kitchen and Peet's Coffee told the San Francisco Chronicle that only law-enforcement officers may carry guns in their stores.

Starbucks hasn't taken a definitive stance on the issue. In a written statement, the company told The Seattle Times, "For Starbucks, the safety of our customers and partners is our paramount concern. We have existing security protocols in place to handle situations related to safety in our stores. We will continue to adhere closely to local, state and federal laws and the counsel of law enforcement regarding this issue."

Washington state, the Times notes, allows residents to carry unconcealed weapons, so just adhering to state law would allow Starbucks regulars in the Evergreen State to carry guns in its stores.
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