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Starbucks Gun Rallies Draw Ire Of Newtown Group

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A gun control group in Newtown, Conn., is irate over pro-gun rallies being held Friday at Starbucks stores in the state and beyond.

Gun rights groups are staging "Starbucks Appreciation Day" to voice their approval of the coffee chain's stand supporting gun owners who wish to openly display their weapons in states, such as Connecticut, where that is legally allowed.

But Dave Ackert of the Newtown Action Alliance Group, an advocacy organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, said it is in poor taste for anyone to display guns in his hometown, which is still healing after the December tragedy, in which Adam Lanza fatally shot 26 people – 20 of them children – before he turned the gun on himself.

Starbucks Gun Rallies Draw Ire Of Newtown Group

"I'm most concerned with what's happening here in Newtown, where I guarantee you people, unsuspecting people … will not feel comfortable or safe when they see people walking in with guns," Ackert told WCBS 880's Fran Schneidau.

"It kind of shows who the people are who would go out of the way to come to Newtown after we asked people to leave us alone," added Ackert, who said his group is focusing on planning an event in Washington, D.C., to mark the nine-month anniversary of the shootings.

A Facebook page advertising the event says Starbucks has been the target of unjust attacks from groups that do not support their right to bear arms.

Organizers say they want to thank Starbucks for standing up for their rights and asked participants to follow all laws if they decide to carry a gun during the event and to wear pro-gun-rights apparel.

"Starbucks is allowing us to lawfully carry firearms in their store. Recently, they have been the target of unjust attacks from certain groups that do not support our right to bear arms. We will thank starbucks for standing up for our right to bear arms by going there on Friday, August 9th."

Starbucks says it complies with laws in the communities it serves.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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