These days you may get more than an espresso shot when ordering at a Starbucks coffeehouse.
The Starbucks chain is backing off the gun control debate as it has been the latest site of gun owners proudly displaying their firearms.
Members of the pro gun group OpenCarry.org have been wearing their guns inside Starbucks cafes across the country in Northern California and Virginia.
A new federal law passed allows individuals to carry unloaded, unconcealed firearms in most federal parks, as previously discussed (as long as they comply with state gun laws). In addition, some places are "open carry" states where it's legal for gun owners to walk around in public displaying their licensed heat.
As a result, Starbucks has been caught in the crossfire.
According to the Associated Press, the coffeehouse chain says although it does not want to be in the middle of the gun-control debate and is sticking to its company policy of letting customers carry guns where it's legal.
Gun rights advocates have been carrying handguns in holsters around their waists to make a not-so-subtle political statement.
This has forced many gun control advocates, including The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to respond. They plan to deliver 28,000 signatures to the Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.
In "open carry" states however businesses maintain the right to ban guns in their place of business.
Currently, about 43 states have local open-carry weapon laws. Under the law, guns must be unloaded, and the gun magazine must also be visibly holstered.
Gun rights groups are looking to build on 2008 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban. Similarly, Chicago's long-standing handgun ban is currently under review and could also be overturned, as previously discussed.
Many gun rights advocates exercise their right to bear arms in a public display simply because they can.
But in doing so, it also begs the question what's the point if it can't be loaded?
- Starbucks Position on Open Carry Gun Laws (Starbucks)
- Buzz and bullets: Gun fans cheer Starbucks' policy (Associated Press)
- Editorial: Message to Open Carry members: It's time to put the guns away (Contra Costa Times)