BOISE -- Guns are no longer welcome at coffee chain Starbucks. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says the decision to ask customers to stop bringing guns into its cafes came as a result of "Starbucks Appreciation Days," an event where gun advocates would gather at Starbucks stores with their firearms.
Schultz says those demonstrations have, "made our customers uncomfortable." Starbucks is however stopping short of an outright ban on firearms, saying they will still serve those customers that are carrying firearms.
Schultz was looking to remove his company from the middle of a gun control debate by sending an open letter to the American people. What he's getting instead is a lot of attention about his request that customers don't open carry in his stores.
Company policy, before this letter, was to follow state open carry laws.
So a group of gun activists started what Schultz says is a misleading media event called "Starbucks Appreciation Days." This event, not sponsored by Starbucks, has customers carrying firearms on their hips.
To keep all customers comfortable Schultz requested gun owners leave their firearms in the car.
David Kleinfeldt, who spent 22 years in the Marines, told KTVB the letter is no big deal.
"It doesn't bother me one way or the other. If something happens I can always get out to my car," said Kleinfeldt.
OTHER STARBUCKS CUSTOMER COMMENTS
"I don't really care. It's not going to stop anyone who has a concealed permit from taking it in anyway. If they're just asking that people leave it at home, it doesn't mean they're banning them," said Ryan Brandshaw.
"If they're still going to have business and people are still going to come to Starbucks then that right there will show them whether the community thinks it's right or wrong," said Misty Maxfield.
"I think it's a good thing. There's no reason to be packing heat in a Starbucks right?" said Garrett Swaggart.
On the KTVB Facebook page, Joe Mikitish wrote, "They have the right to ask me to leave my weapon outside and I have the right to shop where the owners don't care if I wear it in...Not upset with them, they have a right to ask me to behave a certain way on their property and I just choose to take my business elsewhere."
Again, this is only a request by the CEO and not a ban on guns at Starbucks.
To view the entire open letter, click here.
Glenn Farley, with our sister station KING 5 in Seattle, sat down and talked to Schultz's about the decision. To watch the interview click here.