A recent piece in The New York Times highlights the choices and obligations facing employers in Illinois as the result of the passage of Firearm Concealed Carry Act. In the article, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz explained the company’s new position on the emotionally charged issue of gun rights: Starbucks is asking the public and its employees not bring guns to its stores and store grounds, unless they are licensed peace officers. Explaining that Starbucks is not a policy maker, and is neither pro- nor anti-gun, Schultz explained that guns should not be part of the Starbucks experience.
According to the Times, Starbucks had long followed local laws regarding open carry of firearms. In those states that allowed open carry, customers were allowed to open carry in its stores. Those in other states, notably Illinois, where firearms were not permitted to be carried, local law was observed and customers were not allowed to carry guns in the stores. Now the company is asking individuals to not bring guns into its stores — although it is only a request — they will not be denied service.