NEW YORK — Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms.
The fine line that the retailer is walking to address the concerns of both gun-rights and gun-control advocates reflects how heated the issue has become, particularly in light of recent mass shootings.
Most states allow people to openly carry licensed guns in some way and many companies do not have policies banning firearms in their stores. But Starbucks has become a target for gun-control advocates, in part because of its liberal-leaning corporate image. In turn, gun-rights advocates have been galvanized by the company's decision to defer to local laws.
In an interview, CEO Howard Schultz said the decision to ask customers to stop taking guns into stores came as a result of the growing frequency of "Starbucks Appreciation Days" in recent months, in which gun-rights advocates turn up at Starbucks cafes with firearms.