NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Coffee mega-giant Starbucks has decided that it will not ban guns in its stores across the country.
A national petition with more than 28,000 signatures demanded Starbucks declare all of their stores gun-free but the coffee chain said packing heat with your latte is a person's right in 43 states, and it will not prevent gun carry permit holders from coming in their stores where state and local laws allow it.
Timothy Harding, a frequent Starbucks coffee drinker, said, "It's a fact of life that certain people do get permits and can carry guns, and we're just going to call more attention to it if every Starbucks has a sign, ‘Don't come in here with your licensed gun.' If you're licensed, you're licensed."
Starbucks said their position on the issue is the same as it's always been.
In a statement, Starbucks said, "We comply with local laws and statues in all the communities we serve."
Further, Starbucks asked both sides of the issue to keep them out of the middle of the debate and stated, "The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores."
"I think that's fine," said customer Megan Munroe. "It's their prerogative to do what they want as a corporation."
When it comes down to it, the coffee corporation said it's also a business decision.
It said, "Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position."
Munroe told News 2 she doesn't often think about people inside Starbucks with guns.
She said, "I'm actually more concerned with people having guns in bars than somewhere with coffee."
Still, some people wish Starbucks would make their coffee shops gun-free zones across the board.
Josh Magnin said, "Why would anybody want to be in a public place, especially someplace chill like Starbucks, where a lot of people are there just to study or have good conversation. It shouldn't be a place where you feel like you need to protect yourself."
In the end, Starbucks said in their policy, "We believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers."