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Washington, D.C. – ย– A Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence petition drive with CREDO Mobile Company to urge the Starbucks Coffee Company to prohibit guns in its retail outlets is attracting substantial support, with more than 25,000 people signing.ย  The petitions will be delivered to the coffee retailer soon.ย ย 

‘We urge Starbucks to respect the rights of the vast majority of its customers, who seek to take their families into its stores without facing the intimidating presence of openly carried guns,’ said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign.

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Two weeks ago, after gun enthusiasts began targeting California restaurants for meetings, carrying their handguns out in the open, executives with Peet’s Coffee and Tea and California Pizza Kitchen announced they would exercise their private property right to prohibit the ‘open carry’ of guns in retail locations. Concerned citizens in California started urging a third chain, Starbucks, to similarly prohibit the ‘open carry’ of firearms in its retail establishments, but Starbucks rebuffed their requests.

Last Thursday, Helmke sent a letter to Howard Schultz, the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starbucks Coffee Company, asking the company to change its policy. No response has been received.

The open display of firearms in public places is inherently threatening and intimidating, and poses risks to those nearby, to law enforcement and to the community.  When open carrying of guns has occurred in retail stores, other customers legitimately become alarmed and the police often are called to the scene, contributing to a volatile and potentially dangerous situation.  One Sheriff’s Lieutenant in California said when police respond to a ‘man with a gun’ call, they have no idea what the intentions of the gun carrier may be and ‘the result could be deadly.’

The ‘open carry’ rallies and the Brady/CREDO petition drive have garnered extensive media attention, not only in San Francisco where the activities have been centered, and Seattle, where Starbucks is based, but in the Los Angeles Times, CBS News online and other media outlets.

Formerly Working Assets, the company was established in 1985 to help busy people make a difference in the world through everyday activities like talking on the phone. To date, $65 million has been raised for progressive causes, including over $250,000 for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The company also serves as a strong political force, with a 1,000,000 strong CREDO Action activist community that fights for progressive change.

As the nation’s largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, works to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations and public policies.ย  The Brady Campaign is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.

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