CREATED Sep. 18, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep. 18, 2013
MILWAUKEE - Following word from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz that the coffee giant is strongly urging gun-toting customers to leave them at home, Milwaukee coffee drinkers have mixed opinions.
Connie Berglund was sipping a caffeine-laden drink outside the Starbucks on North Water Street Wednesday afternoon. Asked her opinion about whether people should be allowed to carry firearms into Starbucks, she said yes.
"I really think the people with concealed carry are responsible. They've had the training. They know what they're doing and they're not the ones going in the movie theatres, shooting everybody up," said Berglund.
Others at that same location took the opposite viewpoint. David Walker says he knows, first hand, what it's like to walk into an establishment and feel instantly threatened because someone's carrying a weapon.
"We have a partner church in El Salvado and it's very much like that there and it's extremely intimidating," said Walker.
Whichever side of the fence they're on, coffee drinkers do seem to have one thing in common.They're wondering why the CEO didn't take a stronger stand on the issue, if he's so opposed to concealed carry.
Former federal prosecutor Jeff Wagner spoke with TODAY'S TMJ4 about the legality of it.
"What's interesting with the Starbucks situation, you have the owner who's really trying to walk a line. He's saying, well we're not gonna ban the guns, but on the other hand, we'd like to discourage people from bringing them in," said Wagner.
Although Starbucks is discouraging customers from walking into one of its coffee shops with a gun, the owner will not put up signs on its doors about it. Wagner says if there was a sign banning firearms from the premises, then, the owner could be held responsible if something happened there with a firearm.
"So theoretically, if you ban people from bringing guns in, something happens, and then they would be able to make the argument...there might be some liability," said Wagner.