Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s decision to ask customers to no longer bring guns into his stores is causing a firestorm on social media, with many expressing their outrage and indicating they will no longer buy coffee at the popular chain.
A review of social media suggested Starbucks may lose customers as a result of its decision.
On the company’s Facebook page, hundreds of people said they would no longer frequent Starbucks.
Lynn Schneider wrote that she would now visit a local coffee house instead.
"Bye Bye Starbucks. I'll support small business instead of your corporate dictatorship and take my money to the little locally owned coffee house where they know me by name," she said in a Facebook post.
"Been an avid fan for years! I’m even a more avid fan of the constitution and the Second Amendment! I will no longer patronize your store! There will be hundreds of thousands right behind me!!!!" William S. Beck wrote.
Others said that they didn’t understand the company’s decision, considering criminals will not follow Starbuck’s new policy.
According to Kyle Hoffman, "Your refusal to allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves has cost you my business along with many other people I know. Good luck getting criminals to follow your new policy."
Richard Ney, who said he is a Starbucks Gold Card member and a veteran, is also taking his business elsewhere.
"Attention criminals: No one in Starbucks will have the ability to defend themselves during an armed robbery. I am positive I won't be there." Ney said. "Gold card has been disposed of and new local coffee shop already selected. I refuse to support any business that eliminates the choice I have as a United States citizen and military veteran."
Many said the company’s move was an infringement on their constitutional rights.
"I'm sorry you felt the need to ban us law abiding citizens from your stores that exercise our 2nd amendment rights. I really hope this impacts your business deeply. It's your right to refuse to serve us and it's our right to get our coffee from a true American company that doesn't infringe on our right to defend ourselves," Ron Carr wrote.
One post indicated the company will be losing his $1,500 in annual revenue.
"I'll be wearing my 2ND Amendment T-shirt and turning my GOLD Card in tomorrow. You have lost an annual revenue of over $1,500. Bad move by infringing upon ours rights in Tacoma, WA," Michael Long wrote.
Others took to Twitter to express their outrage, telling Starbucks it has lost customers.
"#Starbucks to Customers: Don't bring your guns. Screw you Starbucks, America runs on Dunkin'!" David Brown tweeted.
"#Starbucks will no longer allow guns in their stores…except those carried by armored car couriers who are there to pick up the cash. #tcot ," Imaumbn tweeted.
Still another Starbucks customer indicated he would no longer buy coffee there.
"You just lost me as a customer. My constitutional rights are more important than a good coffee." #starbucksnews #howardschultz #tcot," Derby City Mike wrote.
NRA News tweeted out a link to Schultz’s open letter around 7:15 a.m. this morning and did not add any comments.
Starbucks stock trading under the symbol SBUX was down .032 in early trading, after closing at $76.04 yesterday.
CEO Schultz said in an open letter sent Tuesday night, "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."
Schultz said the open carry debate has become "increasingly uncivil" and sometimes "even threatening." He also said his stores have become targets for those on both sides of the gun debate.
One group that has targeted Starbucks is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The group started its campaign in early July to pressure Starbucks to eliminate guns from its stores.
A statement from the group declared victory and praised Schultz’s decision.
"This is a huge win for American moms who fought for this policy change, which will make Starbucks customers safer. Because Starbucks is a business icon, this policy change represents a sea change in American culture, which is finally shifting away from allowing guns in public places," Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said.
"Much like smoking was once accepted on airplanes and drunk driving was abided without severe penalties, it is becoming passé for gun advocates—who may or may not have background checks, training or permits—to bring their weapons to public places. We thank and congratulate Starbucks for making this decision and for taking the safety of our children and families as seriously as mothers do," she said.
The group said that Starbucks is just the beginning, and more stores may follow suit.
"Moms Demand Action believes Starbucks is just the first of many companies that will codify a ‘no guns allowed’ policy, and our organization will lead the charge in ensuring American businesses and institutions respect and support gun safe environments," said Watts.