Starbucks says guns are not welcomed but no outright ban
NEW YORK (AP) - Starbucks began running full-page ads in major US newspapers on Thursday, telling customers that guns are no longer welcome in its cafes. But the company stopped short of an outright ban, exposing the fine line it needs to walk on a highly divisive issue.
The Seattle-based company, which has always set itself apart by taking strong positions on progressive political issues, now finds itself at the centre of a fight it didn't start.
"We are not pro-gun or anti-gun," CEO Howard Schultz said in an interview, noting that customers will still be served if they choose to a carry gun.
In recent months, gun control advocates have been pressuring Starbucks to ban firearms, while supporters of gun rights have celebrated the company's decision to defer to local laws.