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‘Starbucks Appreciation Day’ causes controversy in Newtown, Conn.

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NEWTON, Conn. (WITI) — Starbucks, which allows gun owners to openly carry firearms into their stores in states where it is legal to do so, is being put in the spotlight by those in favor of the Second Amendment. In celebration of Starbucks’ firearm policy, gun advocates deemed Friday, August 9th as ‘Starbucks Appreciation Day.’

Across the country, Second Amendment rights’ supporters will meet at Starbucks because of the coffee chain’s policy on guns – but in Newtown, Connecticut, these celebrations aren’t going over so well.

The Starbucks in Newtown, Conn. is only a few miles away from Sandy Hook Elementary, the school where 20 children and six educators were gunned down in December, 2012. In response to this tragedy, many local organizations and groups formed in favor of stricter gun laws and gun safety. Now, these groups are asking Starbucks to change its policy and want ‘Starbucks Appreciation Day’ to happen somewhere else.

In response to its ‘Appreciation Day,’ Starbucks released a statement.

“These events are not endorsed by Starbucks,” the statement read. “That said, our stores are gathering places for the communities we serve and we respect the diverse views of our customers.”

Monte Franke of Newtown Action Alliance is among one of the group members who does not want ‘Appreciation Day’ to happen close to where the tragedy occurred.

“That they’ve decided to come to Newtown, where we are still grieving, in my mind shows incredibly poor taste,” Franke said.

But gun advocates in Connecticut do not want Newtown to be singled out.

“I feel safer going into a Starbucks knowing that there is, potentially, lawful gun owners that are there to protect me, as well as themselves,” said Bob Margolis of Metacon Gun Club.

Gun rights supporters across the country will still call today ‘Starbucks Appreciation Day,’ but in Newtown, it’s not clear how the day will play out. The group, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, plans to meet at the Starbucks in Newtown later today in response to the gun advocates.

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