The Starbucks coffee chain remains caught in the crossfire of a dispute over “open carry” laws, which give gun owners the right to wear unconcealed weapons, often without a permit, reports the Christian Science Monitor. After activists in an open-carry movement in California began gathering in Starbucks outlets, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called on the company to ban guns from its shops, as California Pizza Kitchen and Peets Coffee and Tea did after similar meet-ups in their cafes.
Starbucks resisted. The company said it would “comply with local laws and statutes” and that the “political, policy, and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.” While Starbucks' stance has made it the favorite coffee shop among gun rights advocates, gun control activists have continued to pressure the largest coffee chain in the world. The Brady groups says 32 states allow the open display of loaded weapons; California, Utah, and North Dakota require that openly displayed guns be unloaded. Twelve states allow open carry only with a permit. Florida, Illinois, and Texas prohibit open carry.