Gun-control advocates protest Starbucks’ policy of allowing firearms in its shops |

Gun-control advocates protest Starbucks’ policy of allowing firearms in its shops

Yesenia RoblesThe Denver PostVail, CO Colorado

Starbucks, best known for its coffee, is gaining kudos from gun-rights activists and drawing ire from gun- control advocates for allowing firearms in its shops.On Sunday, about 20 protesters gathered outside the Starbucks at East 6th Avenue and Grant Street to urge a ban on guns inside the coffee shops.”I used to hold a lot of meetings at Starbucks, but the idea that I might be at risk worries me. I will choose a gun-free place,” said Mary Kershner, a registered nurse who advocates for gun control.Colorado allows the “open carry” of firearms, but companies here still have the right to ban the practice on their properties.Starbucks’ policy to follow the local law – allowing guns where it is legal outside – is not new, but in recent months, gun-rights activists have raised attention by gathering for meetings at Starbucks across the country with their guns.”It’s not a Second Amendment issue; it’s a public-safety issue,” said Marilee Posavec, spokeswoman for the Denver Million Mom March, a local chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.”They don’t allow it in their corporate offices; why should they in the stores?” she said.A Starbucks spokeswoman, Stacey Krum, declined to comment Sunday.Mike Woodring, a Denver resident, stopped to confront the protesters.”These people are just trying to sell coffee and tea on a Sunday,” he said. “They’re not hurting anyone.”Woodring, who owns two shotguns and a rifle, said he supports the Second Amendment right to own and bear arms and thinks gun-control activists won’t stop at banning firearms inside private stores.California Pizza Kitchen and Peet’s Coffee & Tea are two companies that have changed their rules to ban guns after problems with gun-rights activists gathering at their locations in California, Posavec said.Starbucks has issued a statement saying its stores aren’t the right place to decide the gun issue.”We hope people will take the political, policy and legal debate around these issues to where it belongs: the legislatures and courts, not in our stores,” the statement said.For more of this Denver Post story:

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