EPF Starbucks Boycott Action Guide

An Action Guide:  Encouraging Starbucks to Foster a Peaceful, No Guns Atmosphere  

Friends and Advocates for peaceful communities this guide is offered by leaders of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship to encourage and equip you to persuade Starbucks to change its dangerous stance and become a responsible business free of firearms on the premises.  

The current NRA/political targeting to promote open carry legislation and increased gun sales has led almost all states to make it possible for people to bring guns into public places and businesses.  Though this is an unfortunate and ill conceived reality that exists in many states, a number of responsible businesses have banned firearms to protect their workers and customers. It’s good business to be a safe business.

Starbucks has chosen the irresponsible and dangerous path. Though Starbucks has been approached quietly with requests to ban firearms on the premises, it has actually welcomed those who like to carry weapons into their coffee shops.  In a time when on average 80 people  in America die daily by gun violence, ten of whom are children, and in an era where 70% of the American public say they desire more responsible and effective approaches to gun ownership and use, Starbucks is out of touch.

EPF’s Open Letter to Starbucks.


Let’s encourage Starbucks to make a constructive change.   Here’s how:

1)       SOFT APPROACH :  Join with a nation-wide movement to boycott Starbucks that began February 14, 2012 ~Valentine’s Day.

(a) GO TO gunvictimsaction.org and read background material and then send their e-mail to Starbucks. (http://gunvictimsaction.org/email-starbucks/)

(b)GET ON your social network and talk to your friends about Starbuck’s troubling business decision to invite guns in their stores.

(c) ASK YOUR friends/groups to buy their coffee elsewhere and to stop in their local Starbuck’s regularly and ask if they have     changed their stance yet. Let them know you’ll be back when they do and so will your friends.

(d) STOP IN Starbucks and ask the manager if he/she will advocate to their bosses a change to ban guns from Starbucks LIKE OTHER RESPONSIBLE BUSINESSES HAVE DONE.

(e) ASK IF the manager and workers feel safe knowing their company intentionally welcomes people carrying guns. ASK THEM IF you or an EPF trainer can offer them or their patrons a short non-violence workshop in case they ever feel threatened.


(a) text/e-mail/facebook message your friends to meet you at your local Starbucks (perhaps invite the local media too). When you arrive have a few nice big lettered signs to hold outside in front of the Café’ ( Signs might read, “Boycott Starbucks/No Guns”,  “Danger, Guns Allowed”, etc)

(b) a couple of you might want to write up a 45 second script that could involve your protesters in a video smart phone production done right there in front of that local Starbucks, then put on you tube.

“ Excuse me, but I thought I should tell you before you go in, that Starbucks lets people with guns inside.  (crowd shouts –“They let people with guns in Starbucks? – We’re outta here!”)  Yes, it’s true and we’re hoping people will boycott Starbucks until they do what other responsible businesses do and keep the guns out. (patron replies- “Thanks for letting me know. Guns in Starbucks is Nuts! I’ll come back when its safe and relaxing again.”)   (crowd shouts- “ Us too! – No Guns , Boycott Starbucks!!”). “

YOU CAN DO IT!  Then post your videos and share them on your social network, through e-mails and with family and friends.

(c ) Stop in that Starbucks occasionally and ask if they have banned guns inside yet. If not, ask if they’ve seen the neat video on your smart phone or laptop. Ask if you can send it to their manager.  OR GET CREATIVE AND MAKE A SERIES OF VIDEOS. HERE ARE SOME POSSIBLE THEMES TO OFFER IN 45 SECOND EPISODES.

1) “ Hi, I see you and your children are about to go into a Starbucks, may I offer a quick primer on diffusing gun violence?” …Boycott Starbucks

2)  “ Dear Starbucks employee, do you know your company encourages people to carry guns where you work, but NOT employees?  Here’s a short course on diffusing gun violence should things get edgy.”… Boycott Starbucks

3)  Or simply make a video of your group in front of Starbucks with their signs and give them each a fact about gun violence in the US to share, each fact ending with “Boycott Starbucks”.


+Last year in California open carry gun advocates targeted Starbucks and several other chains like California Pizza Kitchens, Peets, and  Disney, Every one except Starbucks enacted a no gun on the premises business policy.

+ 30,000 Americans are killed each year by gun violence.

+ Youth death from locally purchased guns is 12 times higher than any other industrialized country.

+ Since 1933 more American have died from local gun violence than in all our wars combined!

+80 Americans die daily of gun violence and 10 of them are children.


+ gunvictimsaction.org   www.heedinggodscall.org.   www.epfnational.org   bradycampaign.org (million mom march)

Note to Local Leader/Organizer/Individual wishing to Join the Boycott: + Remember that you are part of a larger action of nonviolence. Therefore be sure that your personal mindset and approach to the people you encounter is focused on your task and calm at heart. Role playing/thinking ahead about the words/message you will choose to share with Starbucks employees, management, media, perhaps an open carry advocate who disagrees with you IS IMPORTANT.  We do NOT want Starbucks to go under, we want Starbucks to simply ban guns from it premises.  Can’t we all just drink coffee together in a safe place?  Do your best to be the non anxious, peace promoting presence in this endeavor.

+ If possible, take advantage of resources for nonviolence training offered through Episcopal Peace Fellowship (www.epfnational.org).

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