Gun rights advocates to stage 'Appreciation Day' at Newtown, Conn., Starbucks

9:55 AM, Aug 9, 2013   |    comments
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NEWTOWN, Conn. (WNBC) -- The Newtown Action Alliance is discouraging gun rights groups from holding a "Starbucks Appreciation Day" in Newtown, Conn., on Friday.

There is a nationwide effort for gun rights supporters to spend money at Starbucks stores Friday because the coffee chain keeps an open policy on carrying weapons inside their establishments. 

A Facebook page for the event has been created, urging people across the country to visit their local Starbucks.

"We will thank starbucks (sic) for standing up for our right to bear arms by going there on Friday, August 9th," a statement on the page said.

The page urges all participants who plan on carrying weapons to follow all local, state and federal laws.

Matt Botalli, of Ridgefield, posted on his own Facebook page that he will be visiting the Starbucks in Newtown to show support. He commented on the CT Open Carry Facebook page that he and a group of people from the Connecticut Citizens Defense League will be at the coffee shop from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday.

"Come down, meet me and my friends. I guarantee there will not be a safer public place in all of CT," he wrote on his page.

The president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Scott Wilson, said Thursday that his organization did not organize the event.

"Patronizing Starbucks was not a planned or coordinated event by the leadership of CCDL in any way shape or form. Individual members from CCDL decided to meet on their own, and pay homage to the coffee chain," Wilson said in a statement.

The Newtown Action Alliance, which was formed following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, issued a statement Thursday discouraging gun rights groups from holding the "Starbucks Appreciation Day" in Newtown.

"Our community is still healing and we find it reprehensible that they are picking Newtown to rally," said David Ackert, a spokesperson for Newtown Action Alliance. "It is disturbing to think that tomorrow night you and your children may be sitting in Starbucks when people carrying guns walk through the door."

In a statement Thursday, a spokesperson for Starbucks said the company does not endorse the appreciation events, but that their long-standing policies have not changed.

"We comply with local laws and statutes in the communities we serve, abiding by laws that permit open carry," Zack Hutson, a company spokesperson said. "Where these laws don't exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited.

(WNBC New York)

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