|Published:||Sep 18, 2013 10:39 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 19, 2013 9:09 AM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The buzz around Starbucks lately isn't just from the coffee. A request from the head of the company is fueling a Venti-sized debate.
Keep your guns out of Starbucks. That's what the company's CEO is asking. This story has a lot of you talking and fired up on our WINK News Facebook page.
"We just believe that our customers and our people will be much more comfortable if guns are not part of the Starbucks experience," Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said.
Wednesday, Schultz released an open letter saying, "we are respectfully requesting that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas - even in states where 'open carry' is permitted - unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel."
Thursday, the company will run full-page ads in major newspapers making it clear that guns are not welcome either inside Starbucks chains or at outdoor seating areas.
Carla Mae Rasmussen says it's the right move. "I think it should be that way due to the fact that you can not go into airports or school grounds, and with the chaos going on today, it shouldn't happen," Rasmussen said.
"Guns, they are dangerous, harmful," Eugenio Secala said. "People that carry, I feel they are bearing danger."
On the other hand, Heather Hitz thinks it's an issue of freedom. "A lot of times, I think it is personal preference, it's your amendment," Hitz said. "If you do have a permit you should be able to carry a gun if you want to."
This isn't the first time a company has gotten political. Last year, people in Southwest Florida and around the nation protested Chik-Fil-A after an executive revealed the fast food chain does not support gay marriage.
Schultz said this is not a rule, simply a request. Their policy has always been to follow local gun laws. In Florida it's against the law to openly carry a firearm or to carry a concealed firearm unless you have a license.
Starbucks has no plans of enforcement. Schultz said they will still serve everyone.
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