Lovers won’t be the only ones meeting over a cup of Caffè Misto at Starbucks today.
In many states, gun lovers, openly strapped, also might be seen dropping in on the coffee shop, much to the chagrin of gun-control advocates who say the popular coffee chain should ban the latter group from its counters.
Starbucks finds itself in the middle of a heated national battle between those defending their right to bear arms openly and those who say society is violent enough without such open displays of firepower.
The National Gun Victims Action Council created an open “Brew not Bullets” Valentines Day open email to Starbucks that supporters can send opposing the practice and the group is urging supporters not to visit a Starbucks until it bans guns inside its shops.
Starbucks says it’s just complying with the laws of 43 states where it is legal to carry weapons openly. The chain has nearly 5,000 locations in those states.
According to pro-guns advocate opencarry.org, more than half of those states allow owners to carry a loaded handgun without any form of government permission. Another dozen, including Georgia, allow unconcealed loaded handguns to be carried with a permit.
Some pro-gun advocates in California show up at Starbucks and other retailers with unloaded handguns holstered to their belts to protest California laws that place restrictions on openly carrying weapons.
Here’s a link to opencarry.org’s summary of Georgia’s open-carry law.