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August 22nd, 2012

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Open Carry States And Starbucks

A huge issue for Americans is gun control, and currently a case of whether Chicagoans should have the right to carry handguns is creating a brouhaha. The case has gone to the Supreme Court, and many are wondering which states permit open carry, as OpenCarry.org puts it, “a right unexercised is a right lost.” Of course, it may not be as easy to convince the masses of this as it would be to sell lawmakers on the value of guaranteed loans.

Which states permit open carry?

Currently, only six states completely prohibit open carry. The following states were given a rating of “Gold Star” for open carry by OpenCarry.org. This means that “generally preempted open carry is permitted on foot and in vehicles without a license; localities are generally preempted.”

  • Alaska
  • Montana
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • South Dakota
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico
  • Vermont
  • Kentucky
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina

These states are open carry states, but with some restrictions

  • Utah
  • North Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

Some other states allow open carry, but only in certain instances. For instance, California allows open carry, but only in rural, non-incorporated areas. Here is an open carry states map for more information.

Starbucks even has something to say about open carry laws

Recent events have gotten Starbucks, the nation’s most pervasive coffee house involved in the open carry debate. Patrons have entered Starbucks with guns strapped to their hips, which understandably made other customers nervous. Starbucks says that it adheres with state laws regarding open carry, but as a business, it does have the right to set its own policy regarding whether firearms are allowed inside. Any other business, banks to money lenders to clothing stores, has the same right as it is their store after all.

Starbucks gun policy is something CEO Howard Schultz would rather not have to worry about, but The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is demanding that Starbucks “offer espresso shots, not gunshots.” The coffeemaker’s Seattle office received a petition with 28,000 signatures on Wednesday.

Both sides of the gun control debate are obstinate

This is exactly what one should expect when issues like individual liberty and personal safety are involved. Open carry states will likely remain so, but businesses tend to respond to special interest groups, particularly if they get corporate sponsors on their side. Thus, don’t count on being able to carry a holstered gun into your local Starbucks anytime soon, even if you live in an unrestricted state.

Cribs: Mississippi State University Edition

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