Effective June 1, smoking within 25 feet of Starbucks’ storefronts will be prohibited, according to a representative of the Seattle-based chain. The gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action is taking the coffee-seller to task for its seemingly contradictory public health policies. Starbucks has refused to ban guns from its shops in the 43 states that allow citizens to openly carry firearms. In a May 31 press statement, Moms Demand Action ask why Starbucks is willing to put children’s lives at risk by allowing armed patrons into their shops while attempting to protect their customers from the dangers of second-hand smoke.
“In light of the epidemic of gun violence in America, as well as recent shootings at Starbucks stores, Moms Demand Action fails to see the logic in the company’s determination that second-hand smoke is more dangerous to its customers than loaded guns.” – Moms Demand Action
Earlier this month, a woman was shot in the leg at a St. Petersburg, Fla. Starbucks when another patron dropped a purse containing a loaded gun.
Starbucks maintains they comply with local and state laws in regards to open carry laws. Moms Demand Action is asking its supporters to write Starbucks and insist they ban weapons from all their shops, regardless of what is permitted under state law. The group notes that women oversee 80 percent of a household’s spending and can have a significant influence on a company’s policies by choosing to patronize only businesses that support child and family safety.
“Moms have learned a lot about the lax gun laws in America since the mass shooting of 20 elementary school students in Newtown, and now we’re learning about weak corporate gun policies that endanger our children.” – Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action
Moms Demand Action has an online form letter addressed to Starbucks for supporters that wish to participate in the campaign to ban guns in Starbucks stores.